Wetland Policy and Legislation - Montana State Laws

Montana Definition of Waters of the State

"State Waters" means a body of water, irrigation system, or drainage system, either surface or underground. The term does not apply to:

  1. ponds or lagoons used solely for treating, transporting, or impounding pollutants; or
  2. irrigation water or land application disposal water when the waters are used up within the irrigation or land application disposal system and the waters are not returned to state waters.

Montana's 401 Water Quality Certification ARM 17.30.101-109

Under section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act, states and tribes can review and approve, condition, or deny all Federal permits or licenses that might result in a discharge to State or Tribal waters, including wetlands. The major Federal licenses and permits subject to Section 401 are Section 402 and 404 permits (in non-delegated states), Federal Energy Regulatory Commission hydropower licenses, and Rivers and Harbors Act Section 9 and 10 permits. State and tribes may choose to waive their Section 401 certification authority.

States and Tribes make their decisions to deny, certify, or condition permits or licenses primarily by ensuring the activity will comply with state water quality standards. In addition, states and tribes look at whether the activity will violate effluent limitations, new source performance standards, toxic pollutants, and other water resource requirements of state/tribal law or regulation. The Section 401 review allows for better consideration of state-specific concerns.

A Guide to the Montana Water Quality Act

DEQ Circular 7

Statute: Montana Water Quality Act - Permits

Statute: Montana Water Quality Act - Prohibited Activities

Additional Resources Relevant to Stream and Wetland Regulation in Montana

A Guide to Stream Permitting in Montana

Montana Office of the US Army Corps of Engineers - Regulatory Information