Operators Fees FAQ

OPERATING FEES: Frequently Asked Questions

Why were the Air Quality Annual Fees changed?   I've been paying the same fees for a long time.

  • You are correct that fees had not changed for several years. Over time, due to changes in the types and number of sources regulated, it is necessary to increase fees to ensure the Montana Department of Environmental Quality can continue to provide the air quality program. We did our best to find efficiencies and reduced expenses to lower the amount needed.

What are the new fees?

  • Stationary facilities that hold a Title V Operating Permit and/or a Montana Air Quality Permit will now be assessed an annual fee of $900 plus a fee of $44.35 for each ton of PM-10, sulfur dioxide, lead, oxides of nitrogen, and volatile organic compounds emitted into the atmosphere. As an example, if a facility released 100 tons of the listed air pollutants during 2017, the amount owed would be 100 x $44.35 ($4,435) plus the annual fee of $900 for a total of $5,335.
  • Registered Oil and Gas facilities will now pay an annual fee of $850 with no additional per ton fee.
  • Portable facility fees were not increased and will remain at an annual fee of $800 with no additional per ton fee.
  • The Board of Environmental Review has the authority, under Section 75-2-220 of the Montana Code Annotated, to set the fees used to fund the air quality program. The new fees were approved by the Board at their October 5, 2018, meeting.

What authority does the Department of Environmental Quality rely on to collect air quality operating fees?

  • 75-2-220, Montana Code Annotated (MCA), and
  • Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) 17.8.50

How are the collected fees used?

  • The fees collected are used to cover the costs of developing, implementing, and administering air quality permitting and registration requirements.

Which facilities are required to pay air quality fees?

  • A facility that held a permit or registration after March 1, 2018, is required to pay fees.
  • Regulated sources that revoked their permit or deregisterd a facility, but that did so after March 1, 2018, are still subject to the 2017 fee assessment.

Applying the formula given and using the amounts listed on my bill, my calculated total amount does not match with the amount shown on the bill.   Why did that happen?

  • The bill displays only two decimal points for the tons of emissions, however, the amount used in the calculation uses the amount of emissions out to four decimal points. As an example, in one case last year, the bill showed 40.50 tons of emissions but the amount used in the calculation was 40.5021 resulting in a difference of 8 cents in the amount the facility was charged. In another instance, the bill showed 0 (zero) pounds of emissions but using 4 decimal places in the calculation resulted in a charge.

How do I submit a payment?

  • A payment coupon is enclosed with your bill.
  • You have several options available for submitting your payment:
    • online by credit card, debit card, or e-check at:  http://deq.mt.gov/ebill
    • by mailing a check to:  DEQ, Financial Services Office - PO Box 200901  -  Helena, MT 59620-0901

I don't see the answer to my question here, who do I contact?

  • You may call the Air Quality Bureau at the Montana Department of Environmental Quality at (406) 444-3490 or
  • Send an email to: Air Quality Support Services or
  • Write to us: Montana DEQ - Air, Energy and Mining Division - Air Quality Bureau - PO Box 200901 - Helena, MT 59620-0901