Helena – The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is accepting public comment on Montana’s 2016 Draft Water Quality Integrated Report. The report documents the state’s water quality conditions for the years 2013–2014 as required by the federal Clean Water Act. Comments will be accepted during a 60-day public comment period from March 14 through May 13, 2016.
The entire report can be viewed at cwaic.mt.gov. Comments on the report should be submitted electronically via the Public Comment link available from the CWAIC site or mailed to: Integrated Report Coordinator, Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 200901, Helena, MT 59620-0901. DEQ cannot guarantee that comments received after the May 13 closing date will be considered in developing the final report.
The Integrated Report summarizes the current water quality status and trends for waterbodies under the jurisdiction of the State of Montana, including lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and streams. It does not include waterbodies on tribal lands. It also contains a summary of state water quality information and an overview of Montana’s water pollution control efforts.
A schedule for preparing water quality improvement plans, known as TMDLs, is included in the report’s Appendix B, the 303(d) list. This sub-set of waters is not fully supporting one or more beneficial uses. A TMDL is a plan for restoring and protecting water quality.
DEQ prepares this report every two years for EPA approval. Comments from the public and interested parties will be used to prepare the final report for submittal to EPA. The draft report, appendices, assessment information, and an interactive map can be viewed at DEQ’s Clean Water Act Information Center site: www.cwaic.mt.gov Anyone experiencing problems accessing this site should contact the Montana Integrated Report Coordinator, Pam Arroues, by phone at (406) 444-6763.
For more information contact: Lisa Peterson, DEQ Public Information Officer, 406-444-2929