R.I.P., exempt wells loophole. Montana State Court struck down the “exempt well” rule that gave developers an end run around laws that protect water rights, prevent over-pumping of groundwater, and ensure healthy flows for our rivers and streams.
For three decades, a problematic loophole in state water law allowed over-development of wells for new residential subdivisions—a situation that was threatening to deplete precious groundwater supplies that feed our creeks and streams. We started chipping away at this issue 10 years ago, most recently by filing a lawsuit in State District Court against the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. The court ruled in our favor, closing the loophole by ordering the DNRC to draft a new rule that better protects water resources throughout Montana. This October 20th decision was a big win!
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