Constitution of Montana and MEPA
Often referred to as Montana’s “environmental watchdog,” MEIC successfully changes public policy and defends Montana’s Constitution by exerting the influence of our members and staff on State government and in the courts. We increase the public’s understanding of and involvement in environmental problems and issues. The constitution of Montana and MEPA are very significant for environmental protection in Montana.
MEIC has been instrumental in the design, passage, and implementation of many of Montana’s landmark environmental laws, including the Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA). The Act has been severely undermined by amendments adopted by the past several legislatures, and MEIC is working to restore the foundations of MEPA – providing State agencies with the ability to require environmentally protective mitigation. MEIC continually monitors and influences State agency compliance with MEPA.
Montana’s landmark Constitution, ratified in 1972, provides MEIC with our overall mission – maintaining a clean and healthful environment for all Montanans. The right to a clean and healthful environment has been recognized as a fundamental right – in a case that MEIC successfully brought to the Montana Supreme Court. We work to assure that the Montana Constitution is adequately and properly enforced to protect that right.
MEIC is dedicated to protection of Montana’s environment. One of the critical ways MEIC is able to do so is by assuring that the State complies with key provisions of the Montana Constitution.
Since 1971 The Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) has been Montana’s bedrock environmental law. Although MEPA has been steadily degraded by the Legislature, MEIC works to defend MEPA and assure that it is applied correctly by state agencies.