We patrol for unusual discharges from pipes, industrial and construction sites and agricultural operations and evidence of pollution in the waterway. Staff and volunteers also check for the use of Best Management Practices.
The Big Picture:
Our pollution-reporting activities are motivated by two factors.
Government and enforcement agencies are often understaffed and underfunded, and citizen volunteers can help leverage the resources committed to pollution prevention and enforcement.
These agencies need community oversight to maintain a rigorous policy of enforcement of the law.
While on Patrol, we look for unusual discharges from pipes, industrial and construction sites and agricultural operations and evidence of pollution in the waterway (surface sheens/ discoloration, submerged debris, etc).
Staff and volunteers also check for the use of Best Management Practices (BMPs). For example:
Businesses must take measures to prevent runoff of oil and other hazardous materials into waterways. We catalogue the use of BMPs on ranch and agricultural lands, such as fencing cattle out of waterways and good manure management for large livestock operations.
When oil, fuel, or other waste sheens are found, or when entities are seen violating Best Management Practices, these violations are reported to the Montana Dept. of Environmental Quality and relevant federal land management agency, as appropriate.
Through active monitoring, and with the help of volunteer and citizen reports, Upper Missouri Waterkeeper identifies potential pollution problems within Southwest Montana.
Resolution of pollution problems is sought through negotiation and, if necessary, legal action to defend the health of the Upper Missouri River Basin.
SPILL REPORTING – 24 HOUR PHONE NUMBERS
Be prepared to provide the following information:
-reporting party, contact phone #, material, concentration, quantity, location, company name, resource damage and clean-up status.
Upper Missouri Waterkeeper Pollution Hotline: 406.570.2202
Number may not be monitored on weekends
MT Dept. of Environmental Quality – Pollution Reports
Click here to go to DEQ’s reporting webpage.
National Response Center (NRC): 1-800 424-8802