By Helena Dore, Bozeman Daily Chronicle
The Montana Legislature passed a bill that sets new limits on legal challenges against projects impacting the environment, and about 250 businesses and residents in Paradise Valley are urging a veto from the governor.
Senate Bill 557, sponsored by Sen. Mark Noland, R-Bigfork, was prompted by a 2020 Montana Supreme Court decision over Lucky Minerals’ bid to prospect for gold on Emigrant Peak. It would limit a plaintiff’s ability to sue over alleged Montana Environmental Policy Act violations.
The bill would require parties that challenge projects on the basis of the Montana Environmental Policy Act to seek injunctions and to pay state agencies for the costs of compiling and submitting records to the court. They would have to post a bond for the lost revenue and employee wages tied to any projects they challenge.