Speak Up for Clean Water
Throughout the 2019 legislative session we will analyze hundreds of bills to ensure proposed legislation protects clean water and does not harm the watershed. Our focus this session is defending Montana’s bedrock environmental laws–and we need your help!
Check this page regularly to stay informed on bills that matter, get updates on hot topics, and find opportunities to engage in the legislative process.
How to help:
Join the “Water Watchdog” Brigade: Can we count on you to contact legislators on behalf of healthy rivers? Travel to Helena to testify in-person at a key hearings? Be involved when important decisions are being made? We’ll call on Water Watchdogs throughout the session to be a strong voice for clean water when it’s needed most (coaching provided). To join, contact Katie Racette at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also sign up for our e-alerts and like our Facebook page to stay up-to-date.
Get in touch with legislators: Find contact information to lobby specific legislators here, or call 406-444-3062.
Let Governor Bullock know what you think: The Governor’s Office has final say over whether bills become law. Click here for contact info.
- Look up Bill Drafts: Check on a bill’s status and read the policy language first-hand.
- Stream live legislative hearings here.
- Check out our Legislative Bill Tracker:
|Bill Title||Summary||CFC Position||Public Action|
Revise local government laws related to invasive species
Sponsor: Greg Hertz (R)
|This bill would give counties within the Columbia Basin the authority to enact ordinances related to AIS monitoring, detection and prevention efforts. It also provides a mechanism for local enforcement and penalties for violation of AIS laws.||Support||Not at this time|
Revise laws related to aquatic invasive species programs
Sponsor: Willis Curdy (D)
|This bill would allocate funding for the state’s critically important AIS prevention program. Funding sources would include fees on resident and nonresident anglers, revenue from watercraft registrations, and extension of existing fees on hydroelectric facilities. The bill also establishes a permanent invasive species account removing the sunset from the 2017 legislation.||Support||Not at this time|
Create stream guage oversight work group
Sponsor: Jon C Sesso (D)
|Would create a stream gauge oversight work group in MT that will make recommendations and report out to the Water Policy Interim Committee and the legislature, with the goal of keeping stream gauges funded. The $70,000 fiscal note will be used to pay a contractor to run the meetings and follow up on action items. A contracted position will also work to establish a long term funding framework for gauges. This is definitely a step in the right direction.||Support||Hearing- House Natural Resources Committee – 3/18/19|
Requiring mandatory contamination of certain vessels with ballasts/bladders
Sponsor: Joe Read (R)
|This bill provides an additional tool to address the risk of AIS transport. The bill specifically targets boats with ballasts/bladders, which often cannot be adequately inspected and dried.||Support||Not at this time|
Resolution to reauthorize of surface mining control and reclamation act
Sponsor: Jon C Sesso (D)
|This resolution supports continued funding for the reclamation of abandoned mines before that funding expires Sept. 30, 2021. This funding comes from the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 which provides resources for Montana mine reclamation programs. There are 6,500 abandoned mines that would benefit from continued funding of this program.||Support||Hearing- House Natural Resources Committee – 3/18/19|
Revise variances to water quality standards
Sponsor: Tom Richmond (R)
|This bill would establish a rulemaking process for setting water quality variances, and add criteria that allows for variances where current science-based water quality standards are currently difficult to meet. CFC and our partners have requested amendments to ensure that the Board of Environmental Review has authority over the rule making. If amended, CFC would not oppose the bill.||Not In Current Form||Not at this time|
Revise FWP authority for instream flows
Sponsor: Jill Cohenour (D)
|Removes the June 2019 expiration date on FWP’s authority to change water rights they hold or lease to instream flow. This program is a vital tool used to restore dewatered streams. The bill would make the program permanent.||Support||Not at this time|