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Water Quality Strengthening and Enforcement

White Water PhotoMontanans have a constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment. Montana state water quality standards must be strengthened and enforced to the same levels that were in place prior to the 1995 Montana legislature when water quality standards were significantly reduced. The legislature argued that Montana's clean water standards were discouraging job growth. Today we have some of the lowest water quality standards in the country, along with some of the lowest wages as well.

The Department of Environmental Quality must strictly enforce and monitor compliance with water quality standards. The Montana State Board of Environmental Review must ensure that laws and rules designed to keep Montana waters clean are correctly interpreted and no further pollution should be allowed in the waters of the state.

A healthy environment is key to Montana's economic future. We can have good paying jobs with clean air and water. ~

The 1995 legislature weakened Montana's water quality laws by approving the following actions

Arsenic risk-level standards were weakened by a factor of 1000;

Clean water laws were changed to be reactive rather than preventive and protective;

The discharge of untreated ground water can now be pumped onto surface water without a permit;

In eastern Montana, state water was reclassified to allow pollution of marginal waters, especially ground water;

The ability of Montanans to keep water clean was limited when the state considers pollution permits or activities that diminish water quality.

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