This case presents the following issues: 1) whether the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) acted unlawfully when it allowed a strip mine to renew its permit with far lower pollution control requirements by recognizing receiving waters as ephemeral streams; and 2) whether the monitoring program MDEQ did require was too lenient and not representative of the total discharges. This appeal presents an opportunity to clarify MDEQ powers and has ramifications sounding in both agency powers and potential environmental quality consequences for Montana’s waters and mining industry.
Davis Connelley, Oral Argument Preview, Montana Envtl Info. Ctr. v. Montana Dept. of Envtl Quality: Stream Classification and Water Quality, 79 Mont. L. Rev. Online 80, https://scholarship.law.umt.edu/mlr_online/vol79/iss1/12/.