The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is soliciting public comments about implementation of climate pollution analysis and the Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA).
MEPA is Montana’s bedrock conservation law that protects our constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment. Often called “the people’s law,” MEPA allows Montanans to 1) know about proposed development projects that impact our environment and communities in advance and, 2) have a voice in those decisions.
Public input is sought after the historic Held v. Montana youth climate trial victory struck down corrupt laws catering to fossil fuel interests that prohibited analysis of climate pollution. Thanks to the brave youth plaintiffs, the state must now consider climate pollution, which also implicates MEPA. This is our opportunity to stand strong for climate protections and our right to have a say in the decisions that impact our communities!
How to submit a comment to DEQ
DEQ is only accepting comments through its web portal. The comment portal requires you to answer a few simple questions before providing your comment.
PLEASE NOTE: You do not need to be an expert about these issues to submit a comment. Taking the time to submit a brief comment makes a big difference! It’s important for DEQ to hear from as many Montanans as possible noting we care about MEPA and robust climate analysis. Click the button below to access the portal, and read the “key messages” below the button to help form your comment.
Key messages about MEPA:
- Any changes to MEPA implementation must prioritize transparency and greater public access to decision-making processes, including good faith challenges to MEPA decisions.
- Challenging MEPA decisions should not result in financial penalties or significant financial obligations for any challenger acting in good faith.
Key message about climate pollution analysis:
- Climate analysis should include impacts from the entire life cycle of all projects. This includes the construction, operation, and maintenance as well as the use, consumption, storage, and transportation of any fuels, goods, or services associated with the project.
- Climate analysis should include all greenhouse gas pollutants including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gasses.
- DEQ is required to immediately come into compliance with Montana law by analyzing climate pollution. The recent Held v. Montana ruling clearly states that state agencies must include climate analysis within environmental analyses and impact statements.
- Climate analysis from DEQ is urgently needed given the increase of climate-fueled disasters including wildfires, floods, droughts, and associated harm to Montanans’ health, quality of life, and economy.