In a very important step toward protecting our climate, water quality, and the ability for the public to participate in governmental decision-making, MEIC was able to secure a stipulation against enforcement by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regarding two very bad coal mining bills that were set to become law immediately after their passage during the 2023 Legislative Session.
Over the past few years, Gov. Greg Gianforte has wrongfully withheld public documents from an official document request by attempting to utilize an incredibly novel legal theory that a judge characterized as “completely unmoored from the text, history, and purpose underlying both Article II, Section 9 and the implementing public records statutes.”
When 16 young Montanans sued the state over its failure to consider the climate crisis, most folks had no idea that the trial would be such a powerful experience. Those who participated in cheering on the kids every day as they walked into the courtroom felt a rare sense of community and hope.
Montanans can’t afford Montana’s largest utility. Right now, NorthWestern Energy is trying to raise residential customers’ rates by 28%. In the fall, it will try once more to persuade the Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) to allow it to charge customers for a billion dollar gas plant outside of Laurel.
Aug. 14, 2023 – The Court finds in favor of 16 youth plaintiffs who sued the State of Montana. Read the ruling here.
For 50 years, MEIC has worked to keep Montana’s air and water clean. We have stopped dirty acid mines and helped pass and defend strong pollution control laws. And it’s all made possible by our members.
MEIC is made up of thousands of Montanans who care deeply about this state – our home. This strong membership has allowed MEIC to remain independent and to always fight for what is right. We would love to have you as a member too.
Nov 27, 2023 – In a unanimous decision, the justices ruled that the Montana DEQ discounted water quality impacts in a 2015 decision authorizing the expansion.
Nov 27, 2023 – In issuing permits for expansion of a key Montana coal mine, state regulators have consistently ignored water quality laws, the Montana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday as it vacated a permit for Rosebud Mine.
Montana’s Smith River is renowned worldwide for its clean water, rugged canyon scenery, and blue ribbon trout fishery. The Smith is Montana’s only permitted recreational river. The permitted section of the Smith River winds 59 miles through a remote canyon in the Big Belt Mountains. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks classifies the Smith River’s fishery as high-value, owing to its bountiful population of rainbow, brown, westslope cutthroat, and brook trout. The canyon walls of the Smith also boast some of the best examples of Native American pictographs in Montana.
Montana’s Smith River is an extraordinary resource, and deserves our most rigorous effort to protect it from mine pollution and dewatering. Montana Governor Greg Gianforte and the Department of Environmental Quality Director Chris Dorrington will make critical decisions that will determine the future of the Smith River and the Sheep Creek Mine.
Please contact Governor Gianforte and Director Dorrington. Let them know that the Smith River is an incredibly important place for the people of Montana and across the country and world, and should not be sacrificed for temporary and risky mining activities.
The Smith River and its tributaries provide crucial habitat and spawning grounds for regional trout fisheries. The Sheep Creek drainage accounts for over half of tributary spawning of rainbow trout in the Smith River drainage, and rainbow trout have been known to travel nearly 200 miles round-trip from the Missouri River to spawn!
The Smith River depends on clean cold water from its tributaries to sustain the aquatic life within its banks and the agricultural operations along it. Demands on the river’s waters already often exceed available flows in many years, creating challenges for downstream water users.
P: (406) 443-2520
107 W. Lawrence St., #N-6
Helena, MT 59601
P.O. Box 1184, Helena, MT, 59624
225 W. Front, Missoula, MT, 59802