Water Committee Seeks Comments on Water Supply Report, Exempt Well Bills - news.mt.gov

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Water Committee Seeks Comments on Water Supply Report, Exempt Well Bills

Friday, July 29, 2016/Categories: Legislative Branch/Tags: Water Policy Interim Committee

The Water Policy Interim Committee (WPIC) welcomes public comment on issues of water supply and availability in Montana – including two bills related to exempt wells.

The WPIC  approved a draft of a report on the subject earlier this month in order to seek public comment. These comments will be reviewed and discussed at the Aug. 29-30 meeting of the WPIC prior to any decisions by the committee.

The WPIC has examined a broad range of topics related to water availability and supply, ranging from water quality standards to Bozeman’s water supply plan. As part of its report, the committee issued two proposed bill drafts, each defining a “combined appropriation” in an different way. One bill will define a combined appropriation as anything that is “physically connected”; the other will define it as the amount of water appropriated from an entire development. Both bills are in response to an October 2014 district court ruling, which found the state was misinterpreting state law.

The report is available for review on the WPIC’s website, http://www.leg.mt.gov/water. Comments may be sent to the WPIC at P.O. Box 201704, Helena, MT  59620-1704 or emailed to jasonmohr@mt.gov with the subject line, “Water supply comments.”

All comments received by 5 p.m. on August 15 will be compiled and reviewed by the WPIC prior to its August meeting in Helena. Comments received after the deadline will be provided to the WPIC at the meeting. Comments are welcome in person at the meeting as well. An agenda and other meeting materials for the August meeting will be made available on the WPIC’s web site approximately two weeks in prior to the meeting.

Members of the WPIC include: Chairman Bradley Maxon Hamlett, D-Cascade; Vice-chairman Carl Glimm, R-Kila; Rep. Bob Brown, R-Thompson Falls; Rep. Zach Brown, D-Bozeman; Sen. Jennifer Fielder, R-Thompson Falls; Sen. Chas Vincent, R-Libby; Sen. Sharon Stewart-Peregoy, D-Crow Agency; Rep. Kathleen Williams, D-Bozeman.

For more information, contact Jason Mohr, WPIC staff, at 406-444-1640 or jasonmohr@mt.gov.

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