| Five Things

Montana Capitol Building

During the Montana Legislature MEIC provides a list of five or so things you can do each week to help protect the environment and fight for action on climate change. Important decisions on the environment move quickly and your help is needed as changes happen, especially in the legislature. We urge you to make a few telephone calls and send a few e-mails each week to help protect our rights to clean air, clean water and a healthy climate. You can always call (406) 444-4800 and leave a message for a legislator(s) and ask them to support or oppose specific legislation.

1. Protect Consumers – Stop the Colstrip Blank Check Bill

SB 278 would require NorthWestern Energy customers to write a blank check to the monopoly utility. This outrageous bill would require the PSC to approve all of NWE’s Colstrip related costs for its existing 220 megawatt share of the plant, to pass on any and all costs for the purchase of the transmission system (for whatever amount NWE wants), and to pass on all costs for any future increased ownership in the plant to its customers, AND it requires the PSC to approve any costs NWE wants and provide it with a guaranteed profit margin on top of many of those cost regardless of whether it’s prudent or harms customers. Don’t let NWE pick your pocket. Contact the Governor and legislators today!

SB 278 is currently in the Senate Finance and Claims Committee, and is heading to the Senate Floor.

Please contact your state Senator and ask them to oppose SB 278.

Additionally, please call Governor Steve Bullock at (406) 444-3111 and ask that he oppose SB 278.

2. Protect Children from Lead Poisoning

HB 118 would establish a grant program for eliminating lead in schools and daycare facilities. Children are the most vulnerable population to lead poisoning. Lead is a potent neurotoxin and even very low levels of exposure can impact how children learn, grow and behave. Despite the risks, most schools and preschools in Montana do not currently test for lead in school drinking water. Recent voluntary tests in Missoula and Great Falls schools
uncovered lead levels more than fifteen times the physician-recommended lead standard and these cases are likely just the tip of the iceberg. This bill will help ensure they are not exposed to lead in schools and daycare facilities.

HB 118 was heard in the House Natural Resources committee on February 25th. It now needs to be voted on by the committee. Contact the committee here:

Contact Members of the House Natural Resources Committee

(click the link and copy and paste the addresses into your own email. Send to no more than 10 members per email to avoid spam filters)

3. Protect Montana’s Clean Water by Opposing Legislation that Would Weaken Standards

HB 625 by Rep. Bill Mercer would eliminate the numeric nutrient standards under Montana’s water quality act. Nutrients are one of the leading causes of water quality impairment in Montana’s rivers, streams, and lakes. Because of the extensive impacts associated with nutrients, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed nutrient water quality criteria. Montana’s nutrient standards were adopted and approved in 2015 by the EPA. Montana is obligated to combat nutrient pollution through nutrient standards, and any attempt to repeal the standards is not in conformity with the U.S. Clean Water Act.

HB 625 is likely to have a hearing in the House Natural Resources Committee. Please contact committee members and tell them to OPPOSE HB 625.

Contact Members of the House Natural Resources Committee

(click the link and copy and paste the addresses into your own email. Send to no more than 10 members per email to avoid spam filters)

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