SB 337 would eliminate the Montana Board of Environmental Review. The BER has oversight authority over the Department of Environmental Quality for rule-making, as well as deciding challenges to permit decisions and enforcement actions. The BER acts as an independent body that determines whether DEQ follows the law and whether rules need to be changed to help DEQ accomplish its mission to protect public health and safety. Polluting industries are upset that the BER has refused to rubber stamp permits issued by DEQ for water discharges and coal mine expansions. Eliminating the BER would be a blow to the public’s right to hold DEQ accountable.