Montana Department of Environmental Quality

EPA: Billings Now Meets Federal Air Pollution Standards

May 3, 2016
Governor Steve Bullock, D-MT, announcing Billings is the first area in the country to be re-designated as meeting federal air quality standards for SO2. Behind Bullock is John Felton of Riverstone Health and Jeff Walters of the Billings Chamber of Commerc
Jackie Yamanka - Yellowstone Public Radio

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says Billings is now in compliance with federal air pollution standards. Gov. Steve Bullock says this is the first time EPA has reversed a “non-attainment” designation.

Water from a treated sewage holding pond at Big Sky leaks into the Gallatin River, March 3, 2016.
Courtesy Explore Big Sky/Outlaw Partners

State officials today released the third and final water quality report for the March 3 wastewater spill that polluted parts of the Gallatin River.

Officials wanted to know how pharmaceutical traces found in the sewage waste could have affected human and aquatic life.

Water from a treated sewage holding pond at Big Sky leaks into the Gallatin River, March 3, 2016.
Courtesy Explore Big Sky/Outlaw Partners

Trace amounts of E. coli and nitrates were found in samples from the Gallatin River. This was a result of a pipe leak that spilled 35 million gallons of sewage water into the Gallatin River earlier this month.

Water from a treated sewage holding pond at Big Sky leaks into the Gallatin River, March 3, 2016.
Courtesy Explore Big Sky/Outlaw Partners

No more water is leaking from a treated sewage holding pond at Big Sky into the Gallatin River. At least 35 million gallons of the wastewater spilled into the river since last Thursday. The early phases of the investigation have revealed more questions than answers.

Water from a treated sewage holding pond at Big Sky leaks into the Gallatin River, March 3, 2016.
Courtesy Explore Big Sky/Outlaw Partners

State public health, environmental and wildlife officials are in Big Sky accessing the damage after the spill of millions of gallons of sewage water contaminated parts of the Gallatin River. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality’s Kristi Ponozzo says the treated waste does not pose a risk to human health.

The Missoula valley’s air quality hasn’t been this unhealthy since 2013.
Courtesy Montana DEQ

The Missoula valley’s air quality hasn’t been this unhealthy since 2013. A relatively rare Stage II air pollution warning was issued earlier today and is expected to persist through most of Thursday.

MontPIRG Intern Sophie Moon, and owner of Blackfoot River Outfitters John Herzer at a MontPIRG press conference.
Courtesy Bryce Bennett

Tintina resources today filed an application for an operating permit for its proposed Black Butte copper mine near White Sulphur Springs that the company has been preparing for years.

Tintina started exploratory work on the proposed mine about four years ago. Last month, an Australian-owned firm became Tintina’s majority owner.

Air quality has been poor in some NW Montana towns today.
Montana DEQ

The air quality in Thompson Falls and Libby has improved today, but Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality says 24-hour cumulative exposure in Thompson Falls remains “very unhealthy,” and in Libby the cumulative exposure reading is “unhealthy.”

Wildfires are impacting air quality in Libby and Thompson Falls.
Montana DEQ

The Department of Environmental Quality is reporting unhealthy air quality in Libby this afternoon. It says the air in Thompson Falls is unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Solar panel installation.
Wayne National Forest (CC-BY-2)

Fans of non-petroleum energy are having a “Clean Energy Fair” in Missoula’s Caras Park Saturday. Diana Maneta, the executive director of the Montana Renewable energy association says they’ll be unveiling a new initiative called Solarize Missoula.

Pages