Water Policy Interim Committee to meet October 13 - news.mt.gov

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Water Policy Interim Committee to meet October 13

Thursday, October 1, 2020/Categories: Legislative Branch/Tags:

The Montana Legislature's water committee will tie up loose ends during its scheduled Oct. 13 meeting, as it finalizes legislation and discusses proposed selenium standards in Lake Koocanusa and the Kootenai River. The Water Policy Interim Committee will meet via the Zoom platform from 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 13.

The committee will consider preintroduction of bill drafts related to:

  • Weather modification and control statutes (PD0006)
  • Amending water right ownership update process (PD0009)

The WPIC will also discuss a 2019 bill clarifying the use of river basin councils (SB47), and possible language for a Department of Natural Resources and Conservation bill on a Berkeley Pit water right exemption.

The Department of Environmental Quality is proposing a new selenium standard for Lake Koocanusa and the Kootenai River, as those identified levels have been rising for at least 15 years due to high-grade coal mining on the Elk River, a British Columbia tributary.

This meeting is open to the public. The meetings will be streamed live on www.leg.mt.gov and broadcast on the Montana Public Affairs Network (MPAN). An archived recording of the meeting will also be made immediately available on www.leg.mt.gov.

To participate, email jasonmohr@mt.gov with your name and a request, and staff will send instructions for joining and participating in the meeting by 5 p.m. Oct 9. Written comments may be emailed to staff and forwarded to the committee. Additional information on joining these meetings will be provided on the committee website, www.leg.mt.gov/water, and on the committee agenda.

The WPIC is led by Rep. Zach Brown, D-Bozeman, chairman, and Sen. Jeffrey Welborn, R-Dillon, vice-chairman. Other members of the committee are: Sen. Jill Cohenour (D-E. Helena), Sen. Bruce “Butch” Gillespie (R-Ethridge), Sen. Jon Sesso (D-Butte), Rep. Bob Brown (R-Thompson Falls), Rep. Carl Glimm (R-Kila), Rep. Bradley Maxon Hamlett (D-Cascade), Rep. Shane Morigeau (D-Missoula), and Rep. Walt Sales (R-Manhattan).

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