Board of Environmental Review

BOARD AUTHORITY

PROGRAMS WITH NO BOARD AUTHORITY


  • AIR QUALITY

    Rulemaking - The Board has authority and duty to adopt all rules to implement the Clean Air Act of Montana. Included in this authority are:

    1. procedural rules, such as reporting permitting and fee requirements;
    2. rules establishing substantive standards, such as ambient air quality standards, emission and levels; and
    3. enforcement rules establishing penalties for violations.

    The Department has no rulemaking authority under the air quality law.

    Orders - The Board has authority to issue orders necessary to implement the law. These include orders establishing state implementation plans (SIPs) for areas not in compliance with ambient air standards.

    Hearings - The Board has the authority and duty to hold hearings involving:

    1. appeals of preconstruction and operating permit decisions, fee determinations, and noncompliance orders;
    2. requests for variances from emission restrictions;
    3. approval of local air pollution control programs; and
    4. emergency orders.

    WATER QUALITY

    Rules - The Board has authority to adopt:

    1. fee rules;
    2. substantive rules that:
      1. establish water quality standards;
      2. classify streams (stream classifications must be reviewed every three years);
      3. set requirements to prevent significant degradation of water; and
      4. set standards for treatment of wastes;
    3. rules establishing requirements for matching funds for construction of local water pollution control facilities;
    4. rules governing loans from the Wastewater Treatment Revolving Fund Act.

    Hearings - The Board has authority to hear appeals of:

    1. Department permit decisions;
    2. Department decisions on requirements for authorization to degrade; and
    3. administrative orders issued by the Department as a result of violations of The Act.

    Approval of Local Water Quality Control Program - A local water quality district may adopt a local water quality control program only with approval of the Board.


    PUBLIC WATER SUPPLY/PUBLIC SEWAGE SYSTEM

    This law provides that no public water supply or sewage system (generally defined as systems serving at least 15 families or 25 persons) may be constructed or altered without approval of the Department. The Board's functions are: Rulemaking - The Board adopts rules for:

    1. procedural matters, such as record keeping reporting and fees;
    2. substantive requirements, such as drinking water standards, construction and siting requirements, and variances; and
    3. administrative penalties.

    Orders - The Board may issue orders to implement the law.

    Hearings - The Board hears appeals of administrative orders issued by the Department.


    MINED LAND RECLAMATION

    The Board's only function under the mined land reclamation laws is to adopt all rules. These include both procedural rules, rules imposing environmental protection and reclamation requirements, and enforcement rules. Before July 1, 1995, this function was exercised by the Board of Land Commissioners.


    MAJOR FACILITY SITING

    This Act requires that persons who wish to construct certain electricity generator plants, transmission lines, pipelines, and coal gasification facilities, must obtain a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need before commencing construction of the facility. The Board's functions (which, before July 1, 1995, were exercised by the Board of Natural Resources) in this program are: Rulemaking - The Board has authority to adopt rules to implement the law.

    Issuance of Certificates - The Board has exclusive authority to grant or deny application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need and applications to amend a certificate. This includes authority to place conditions on the approval.

    Monitoring - The Board and the Department have the duty to monitor compliance with a certificate.

    Enforcement - Both the Board and the Department have authority to enforce the Act and provisions of certificates.


    MEGALANDFILL SITING

    Siting Decisions - No megalandfill may be constructed unless a certificate of site acceptability is issued by the Board.

    Rulemaking - The Board has authority to adopt procedural and substantive rules for approval of applications for site acceptability certificates.

    Reclamation - The Board has authority to forfeit megalandfill boards and reclaim, restore, or replace natural resources damaged or impaired by the operation of a megalandfill.


    HAZARDOUS WASTE

    Rulemaking - The Board has no rulemaking authority. All rules are adopted by the Department.

    Variances - The Board has authority to consider requests for variances from the hazardous waste provisions of the Montana Hazardous Waste and Underground Storage Tank Act and rules adopted under the authority of that Act.

    Hearings - The Board has authority to conduct hearings:

    1. to review Department decisions to deny, revoke, or modify a hazardous waste management facility permit when requested by the permittee or permit applicant;
    2. to review Department administrative orders when requested by the person named in the order;
    3. regarding alleged violations of the hazardous waste laws with the Department requires the alleged violator to appear before the Board.

    SOLID WASTE

    Rulemaking - The Board has authority to adopt rules pertaining to solid waste management plans, local government grants, and local government loans. These rules were adopted in 1977 and amended in 1981. Note that no grant or loan monies have been available since the early 1980's.

    Solid Waste Management Plan - The Board has authority to approve and adopt the state solid waste management plan developed by the Department.

    Variances - The Board has authority to consider requests for variances from rules adopted under the authority of the Solid Waste Management Act.

    Appeals and Hearings - The Board has authority to:

    1. consider appeals of decisions by local health officers to not validate solid waste management system licenses;
    2. conduct hearings to review Department decisions to deny or revoke a solid waste management system license;
    3. conduct hearings to review Department administrative orders when requested by the person named in the order; and
    4. conduct hearings regarding alleged violations of the solid waste laws when the Department requires the alleged violator to appear before the Board.

    JUNK VEHICLES

    The Board's sole function in this program is to conduct hearings to review Department decisions to issue, deny, or revoke a motor vehicle wrecking facility license.


    UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANKS

    There are three legislative acts pertaining to underground storage tanks. First, they are regulated under the hazardous waste laws (see above); second, persons who install, modify, or close underground storage tanks are required to be licensed by the Department; and third, the Department and the Petroleum Tank Release Compensation Board administer a program to fund cleanups of releases from certain storage tanks, including underground storage tanks.

    The Board's sole function in the installer law is to hold hearings and review Department enforcement orders. The Board has no function in the release compensation program.


    RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS

    Hearings - The Board has authority to hold hearings on:

    1. decisions of the Department to grant, suspend, revoke, or amend a license to use, manufacture, produce, or possess radioactive materials;
    2. granting of exceptions to rules regulating radioactive materials; and
    3. Department enforcement determinations.

    PROGRAMS WITH NO BOARD AUTHORITY

    The following is a list of some of the environmental programs in which the Board has no statutory authority and the administering agency:

    Program Administering Agency
    Natural Streambed Preservation Conservation Districts/Dept. of Fish, Wildlife & Parks
    Lakeshore Protection Local government
    CERCLA (Federal Superfund) EPA/DEQ
    CECRA (State Superfund) DEQ
    Integrated Waste Management DEQ
    Infectious Waste Management DEQ
    Subdivisions Local governments/DEQ
    Floodplain Management DNRC
    Slash Disposal DNRC
    Streamside Management Zone Regulation DNRC
    Regulation of Herbicides and Pesticides Department of Agriculture

    Contact Joyce Wittenberg at (406) 444-2544 for more information on the Board of Environmental Review