Comments on Revisions to Montana’s Stormwater Rules

This August 2014 the Montana Board of Environmental Review (BER) proposed amendments to rules concerning stormwater regulations. Read BER’s proposed rules by clicking here.

As a delegated state with authority to implement the federal Clean Water Act, Montana splits authority over clean water programs between the Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the BER, where the latter handles rules and regulation and the former handles permitting and planning.BER’s proposed rule amendments would affect the implementation of stormwater regulation for several categories of activity, ranging from Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s), to Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), to construction and earth-moving activities over 1 acre in size. We submitted a comment letter, attached in the link below, supporting BER’s effort insofar as it provided increased means of public participation in the regulatory and permitting process, and included new requirements about monitoring pollution discharges.

However, we also identified potential problems with the proposed rule amendments, particularly in regards to changes that would limit public opportunity to view applications for categorical coverage (general permit applications), that potentially decrease the scope of authority over discharges in headwater and/or ephemeral or intermittent waters, and changes that could improperly limit effective monitoring requirements. CLICK HERE TO READ OUR TECHNICAL COMMENT LETTER

Understanding and watch-dogging changes in our clean water rules is one of the valuable services that distinguishes Upper Missouri Waterkeeper. There is no other water advocacy organization in Montana that ensures proposed changes to rules implementing the Clean Water Act actually benefit local waterways, communities, and families.

As the saying goes the devil is in the details; protecting and improving water quality for Southwest and West-Central Montana means, in part, making sure we have strong rules on the books!
Point Source Discharge