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

Montana Department of Environmental Quality

Director Nowakowski
Sonja Nowakowski, Director

Welcome to Montana DEQ

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is home to a dedicated team of professionals, engineers, and scientists who make objective, scientific, accurate, and timely decisions on complex topics. DEQ implements Montana’s environmental laws and provides high quality public service and technical assistance. Montana DEQ is here to serve you and to ensure Montanans have clean air, water, and land free from contamination.

DEQ protects Montana’s environment and promotes a healthy and thriving way of life for all Montanans – as reflected in the Agency’s mission statement. At DEQ, we believe Montana communities and businesses flourish when environmental protections are effectively and consistently implemented in a transparent way.

DEQ works together with stakeholders and partners in private industry, non-governmental organizations, tribes, the public, and local governments to protect the environment, fully comply with the laws of Montana, and to support Montana’s natural resource economy.

Thank you for visiting our website. I hope you find the information you are looking for on these pages. If you do not find what you need or still have questions, please feel free to contact us. We are here to assist you in understanding and navigating Montana’s environmental regulations.

Sonja Nowakowski


How Can We Help?

Have a question about Montana's environment? Not sure whether you need a permit? Want to provide feedback? We're here to help. Click the buttons below, use the search box above, or contact us!
DEQ staff are ready to answer your questions.


Sonja Nowakowski, 406-444-0496

Deputy Director

James Fehr, 406-444-7423

Chief Legal Counsel

Sam King, 406-444-4961

Division Administrator - Air, Energy & Mining

Dan Walsh, 406-444-6791

Division Administrator - Water Quality

Lindsey Krywaruchka , 406-444-4632

Division Administrator - Waste Management & Remediation

Amy Steinmetz, 406-444-6383

Public Policy Director

Rebecca Harbage, 406-444-2813

Enforcement Program Manager

Chad Anderson, 406-444-2964

Chief Financial Officer

Denise Kelly, 406-444-4964

Chief Information Officer

DJ Howell, 406-444-7424

Human Resources Manager

Christina Lipetzky, 406-444-6717


The Department of Environmental Quality is organized into three divisions and the Director's Office. More information about the various programs housed within each division can be found by using the main navigation menu above.

View DEQ Org Chart

Air, Energy and Mining

The Air, Energy and Mining Division permits and regulates environmentally-protective and productive operations in air, hard rock mining, opencut mining, and coal mining industries according to program statutory authority. The permitting and regulatory work includes extensive coordination with other programs to develop environmental review documents that comply with the Montana Environmental Policy Act, including environmental assessments and environmental impact statements. The division includes the State Energy Office, or Energy Bureau, which promotes and improves Montanans' access to energy efficiency and alternative energy sources while improving the state’s energy security by offering financing mechanisms, technical assistance, and education for public and private entities.

Waste Management & Remediation

The Waste Management and Remediation Division protects human health and the environment by preventing exposure to contaminants, working with Montana communities and businesses to implement effective material management and cleanup strategies, and overseeing compliance with state and federal laws and regulations. It oversees and conducts or supports remedial investigation and efficient, cost-effective cleanup activities at state and federal superfund sites; supervises voluntary cleanup activities; reclaims abandoned mine lands; implements corrective actions at sites; and administers regulatory asbestos, methamphetamine, and waste management programs.

Water Quality

The Water Quality Division protects public health and water quality in the state of Montana. This is accomplished through the financing and technical assistance provided for community water and wastewater systems; the development of water quality restoration plans; managing a State-wide monitoring network; subdivision review; monitoring compliance of public water systems; and water discharge permitting. The division achieves this through coordination with the public and regulated community by proposing rules, drafting policy, and developing water quality standards.

Director's Office

The Director's Office is responsible for agency-wide administration, management, planning, evaluation, and support. The programs within the Director's Office provide overall policy direction and support services to the agency in the areas of human resources, information management and technology, legal, enforcement, public affairs, fiscal, records management, safety, emergency management, and continuous process improvement. The Legal Unit is responsible for providing legal services to all programs within the Department. These services include legal advice, review and drafting of legal documents, representation in administrative and judicial proceedings, and oversight of DEQ rulemakings.

The agency also provides administrative support to the Board of Environmental Review. In addition, although it is not attached to DEQ by law, the Petroleum Tank Release Compensation Board (PTRCB) is functionally supported by DEQ. The board provides procedures and resources for reimbursement of expenditures for cleanup of petroleum tank leaks. Finally, the 2017 Legislature established an advisory team, the Libby Asbestos Superfund Oversight Committee, that is also attached to DEQ for administrative purposes. Read more about these groups and more at the Affiliated Boards and Councils tab above.



In carrying out our mission, DEQ works with many partner organizations and affiliated boards and councils. View more information below and visit the links for a wide assortment of environmental resources and services.

Affiliated Boards and Councils

The following boards and committees are administratively attached to DEQ, meaning they function independently of the department except for administrative purposes such as budgeting and staffing. Click the links below to visit the Board or Committee's web page for more information about future meetings.

  • Governor's Housing Task Force - On July 14, 2022, Governor Gianforte signed Executive Order No. 5-2022 creating the Governor's Housing Task Force. The Governor charged the task force with providing recommendations to make housing more affordable and attainable for Montanans.
  • Montana Board of Environmental Review - The Legislature created the Board of Environmental Review in 1995 and assigned it specific duties under various environmental regulatory statutes. The board consists of seven members appointed by the Governor.
  • Libby Asbestos Superfund Oversight Committee - The Legislature created a Libby Asbestos Superfund Advisory Team in 2017 to enhance communication with stakeholders and advise DEQ on administration of the Libby Asbestos Cleanup Trust Fund and operation and maintenance accounts.
  • Petroleum Tank Release Compensation Board - The board and the Petroleum Tank Release Cleanup Fund provide financial resources and procedures to tank owners and operators who may be reimbursed for cleanup caused by releases from petroleum storage tanks. The board and associated staff assist in protecting public health and safety and the environment by providing assistance for cleanup of petroleum tank releases.

Many DEQ programs work closely with stakeholder committees and advisory councils. These groups provide valuable feedback and help the department develop environmental policies for the state of Montana. Click the links below to find more information about future meetings on the program's resources web page.

  • Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC) - The Clean Air Act Advisory Committee is a stakeholder advisory group formed to enhance communication between DEQ and a diverse range of air quality stakeholders by developing working relationships centered on a two-way exchange of information.
  • Nutrient Work Group - The Nutrient Work Group is an advisory work group, convened by DEQ, representing publicly owned and privately owned point sources of pollution, nonpoint sources of pollution, and other interested parties that will advise DEQ on the implementation of nutrient water quality standard together with associated economic impacts.
  • Septic Pumper Advisory Committee (SPAC) - coming soon
  • Small Business Compliance Assistance Advisory Council - The council's duties are outlined in 75-2-106, Montana Code Annotated. At a high level, the council exists to provide input to DEQ regarding the needs of small businesses with respect to environmental regulatory compliance.
  • Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC) - The Solid Waste Advisory Committee was created to enhance communication and the working relationship between DEQ and solid waste management facility owners/operators, through the discussion of issues and the exchange of ideas.
  • Statewide Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Advisory Group (STAG) - The STAG is authorized under the Montana Water Quality Act at 75-5-702(9), Montana Code Annotated. The STAG serves in an advisory capacity to DEQ on topics such as TMDL development priorities, water quality assessment methods, water quality data management, and TMDL implementation monitoring.
  • Subdivision Advisory Task Force - The Subdivision Advisory Task Force acts as a liaison between DEQ, counties and sanitarians, and the public as part of DEQ’s effort to improve processes and policies related to subdivision and development while protecting public health and the environment.
  • Water and Wastewater Operator Certification Advisory Council -
  • Water Pollution Control Advisory Council (WPCAC) - The Water Pollution Control Advisory Council is authorized under 2-15-2107, Montana Code Annotated. WPCAC represents a diverse array of Montana interests and serves in an advisory role to DEQ by furnishing advice, gathering information, and making recommendations.

Partner Organizations

Many of the organizations listed below work with and support DEQ's mission. DEQ is providing these links as a service to those looking for environmental information. The list does not constitute any form of endorsement of one entity over another or attest to the quality of work, etc.

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)EPA is the federal government agency who's mission is to protect human health and to safeguard the natural environment — air, water, and land — upon which life depends. For 30 years, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people.
  • Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC)DNRC houses divisions and programs that oversee state trust lands, water resources, forests, and the permitting of oil and gas wells.
  • Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP)FWP provides for the stewardship of fish, wildlife, parks, and recreational resources of Montana. The agency works to enhance the health of Montana's natural environment and the vitality of the state's fish, wildlife, curltural, and historic resources.
  • Montana Natural Heritage ProgramThis program is the state's main source for reliable objective information and expertise to support stewardship and habitats, emphasizing those of conservation concern.
  • Montana Watershed Coordination Council (MWCC)MWCC is the statewide organization representing more than 60 watershed groups. It cultivates broad-based support for community-driven approaches to managing complex land and water issues.
  • Montana Wetland CouncilThe Council's overarching goal is no overall net loss of the state's remaining wetland resource base, and an overall increase in the quality and quantity of wetlands in Montana.
  • Local Government Environmental Assistance Network (LGEAN) - Managed by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), LGEAN provides environmental management, planning, funding, and regulatory information to local government officials. This organization provides free environmental compliance assistance, a biweekly electronic newsletter, and other tools to keep local governments informed. Local officials seeking to hire consultants for environmental services are encouraged to visit the LGEAN's directory of environmental consultants.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has office locations in five Montana cities.

Helena Offices

DEQ Headquarters
Physical Address: 1520 E 6th Ave, Helena, MT 59601-4541
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 200901, Helena, MT 59620-0901
Phone: (406) 444-2544 | TTY: (406) 444-9526

Waste Management and Remediation Division & PTRCB
Physical Address: 1225 Cedar St, Helena, MT 59601-4541
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 200901, Helena, MT 59620-0901
Phone: (406) 444-6444 | TTY: (406) 444-9526

Air Monitoring
Physical Address: 2800 Airport Rd, Helena, MT 59601-4541
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 200901, Helena, MT 59620-0901
Phone: (406) 444-3490 | TTY: (406) 444-9526

Billings Office

Address: Airport Business Park IP-9, 1371 Rimtop Dr, Billings, MT 59105-9702
Phone: (406) 247-4445

Bozeman Office

Address: Martel Building Ste 3B, 220 West Lamme St, Bozeman, MT 59715
Contaminated Site Cleanup, Latysha Pankratz, (406) 556-4512, cell: (406) 431-9811
Contaminated Site Cleanup, Eric Krueger, (406) 556-6280
Mining, Julian Calabrese, (406) 556-4513
Water Protection, Chris Romankiewicz, (406) 556-4514, cell: (406) 475-2138
Water Quality Engineering, Angela Pugh, cell: (406) 595-0491
Water Quality Engineering, Jenny Warren, cell: (406) 579-0976

Kalispell Office

Address: 655 Timberwolf Pkwy, Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 755-8985

Missoula Offices

Water & Contaminated Site Cleanup
Address: Deschamps Building Ste A, 2801 Connery Way, Missoula, MT 59808
Contaminated Site Cleanup, Katie Morris, (406) 541-9017
Public Water, Sandy Arnold, (406) 541-9015
Public Water, JoMay Adler, (406) 541-9016
Water Protection, Daniel Congdon, (406) 431-9577

It is the policy of Montana DEQ and the responsibility of managers and employees of DEQ to provide government services without unlawful discrimination. We are committed to resolving any complaints concerning unlawful discrimination in our services in a timely manner. DEQ will provide auxiliary aids and services to enable effective communication for people with disabilities or limited English proficiency. For more information, please refer to our Non-Discrimination in DEQ Services policy (DEQ-HR-EEO-2).