Montana Department of Environmental Quality

Windmill at the Judith Gap wind farm.
David J. Laporte (CC-BY-2)

A new study says that Montana’s potential for wind energy production is better than that of the Columbia River Gorge, between Oregon and Washington.

Members of Water For Flathead's Future watch a documentary on water bottling at a potluck Wednesday night.
Nicky Ouellet

If water is becoming the new oil, the Flathead Valley could become the new Bakken. That’s what many people fear since news of a proposed water bottling plant outside of Kalispell broke earlier this spring.

Last week, Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality hosted a public meeting to take comments on one aspect of the proposed facility. Comments are due this coming Monday.

Public Comment Period Extended For Creston Water Bottling Plant
(PD)

The public is getting an additional 10 days to comment on one aspect of a proposed water bottling plant in Creston. That’s because of a technical error by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

Coal ash waste at the Colstrip power plant.
Courtesy Alexis Bonogofsky - Montana Environmental Information Center

Three environmental groups settled their lawsuit from 2012 over coal ash pollution at the Colstrip power plant on Thursday.

EPA, Montana Reach Tentative Deal On Butte Cleanup Work

Jun 3, 2016
Uptown Butte, looking north, at the intersection of Main Street and Park Street in April, 2006.
(PD)

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — Montana and federal officials have reached a tentative agreement on the removal of more contaminated mine waste around Butte.

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.

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