Montana Department of Environmental Quality About Us Permitting & Operator Assistance Public Participation

Montana Environmental Policy Act

Overview

On September 27, 2023, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) kicked off an effort to thoughtfully review implementation of the Montana Environmental Policy Act, often referred to as MEPA. DEQ is opening a dialogue about whether and how the regulatory framework, enacted in the 1970s and 1980s, should be modernized to reflect the experiences of the past fifty years and the demands of today’s contemporary society.

As part of this effort, DEQ held four public listening sessions in October and November and opened a comment portal to hear creative suggestions and feedback from Montanans familiar with the MEPA process. Montanans were invited to share their thoughts about MEPA implementation and many responded. The comments received will inform ongoing conversations and serve as the foundation for work to be completed over the first half of 2024 by a diverse stakeholder group. 

This page provides resources to help you participate in this process. View the schedule of upcoming work group meetings below, review meeting materials and recordings, or submit your written comments through the online comment portal.

Staff Contacts

Senior MEPA Coordinator

Craig Jones 406-444-0514

Public Policy Director

Rebecca Harbage 406-444-2813

Resources

Phase II : MEPA Work Group

On Jan. 8, 2024, DEQ announced the formation of a dedicated work group to further discuss the agency’s implementation of the Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA). Following a productive series of listening sessions and public comment opportunities in late-2023, DEQ looks forward to continuing the conversation with a diverse group of MEPA experts. 

The work group will meet regularly throughout the first half of 2024. Meetings will be open to the public and provide opportunities for public comment. Following the work group’s deliberations, DEQ anticipates presenting a comprehensive report summarizing the conversation and offering actionable recommendations.

 

All meetings of the work group and subgroups will be posted below as they are scheduled. We will try to post meeting materials one week prior to the meeting. All meetings will be recorded and recordings will be linked in the table below when they are available.

Type Date Time How to Attend Agenda & Materials

Work Group

Jan. 22, 2024

3:00-4:30 p.m.

DEQ Headquarters, room 111
1520 E 6th Ave, Helena

Or via Zoom

Subgroup: Public Engagement & Education

Feb. 6, 2024

1:00-4:00 p.m.

Via Zoom

Subgroup: Climate Analysis

Feb. 9, 2024

3:30-5:00 p.m.

Via Zoom

Subgroup: Process & Applicability

Feb. 12, 2024

1:00-4:00 p.m.

Via Zoom

Work Group

Feb. 26, 2024

3:00-4:30 p.m.

DEQ Headquarters, room 111
1520 E 6th Ave, Helena

Or via Zoom
Click for Zoom link

Subgroup: Public Engagement & Education

Mar. 5, 2024

1:00-4:00 p.m.

Zoom link coming soon

 

Subgroup: Climate Analysis

Mar. 11, 2024

10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Zoom link coming soon

 

Subgroup: Process & Applicability

Mar. 11, 2024

1:00-4:00 p.m.

Zoom link coming soon

 

 Work Group

Mar. 18, 2024

3:00-4:30 p.m.

DEQ Headquarters, room 111
1520 E 6th Ave, Helena

Or via Zoom
Link coming soon

 

 

Subgroup: Process & Applicability

Apr. 8, 2024

9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Zoom link coming soon

 

Subgroup: Public Engagement & Education

Apr. 16, 2024

1:00-4:00 p.m.

Zoom link coming soon

 

 Work Group

Apr. 29, 2024

3:00-4:30 p.m.

DEQ Headquarters, room 111
1520 E 6th Ave, Helena

Or via Zoom
Link coming soon

 

 

Subgroup: Public Engagement & Education

May 7, 2024

1:00-4:00 p.m.

Zoom link coming soon

 

Subgroup: Process & Applicability

May 13, 2024

1:00-4:00 p.m.

Zoom link coming soon

 

 Work Group

May 29, 2024

3:00-4:30 p.m.

DEQ Headquarters, room 111
1520 E 6th Ave, Helena

Or via Zoom
Link coming soon

 

 

Updated Jan. 8, 2024

Name Affiliation
Sen. Pat Flowers Legislator
Sen. Greg Hertz Legislator
Sen. Keith Regier Legislator
Rep. Steve Gist Legislator
Rep. Jonathan Karlen Legislator
Rep. Rhonda Knudsen Legislator
Jon Bennion Washington Companies
Gordon Criswell Talen Montana
Clayton Elliott Montana Trout Unlimited
Krista Lee Evans Blake Creek Project Management; Montana Irrigators
Darryl James Consultant
Rich Janssen, Jr. Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
Derf Johnson Montana Environmental Information Center
Jen Lane Stillwater Mining Company
Chelsea Liddell Private Citizen
Remy Sexton Student, Park High Green Initiative
David Smith Montana Contractors' Association
Dan Spencer University of Montana
Dick Thweatt Private Citizen
Peggy Trenk Private Citizen

Phase I : Public Listening Sessions

In October 2023, DEQ began a series of public listening sessions to gather input on the MEPA process, implementation, intent, and potential need for updates to the statutes or implementing rules. These sessions accompanied an open public comment opportunity. Input gathered is presented below.

View Comments Submitted via DEQ’s Online Portal: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/4e14fb535c034e08bcf87c6c2a113c9d

Public Listening Sessions: