RAPID/BulkTransmission/Montana/Water Quality

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Montana Bulk Transmission Water Quality Assessment(14-MT)

Transmission line developers may be required to obtain several permits related to water quality issues, including permits for nonpoint source pollution, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting, and Section 401 water quality certification.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) administers a voluntary regulatory Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Program to control the impacts of nonpoint source pollution. The MDEQ program consists of public awareness, cooperation with other agencies and land owners, and the application of Best Management Practices (BMPs). Developers may choose to comply with the program.

Developers must comply with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) requirements if their project will discharge pollutants into the waters of the United States, which includes wetlands. Montana has been granted authority by the Environmental Protection Agency to administer the NPDES program within the state. The MDEQ issued NPDES permits in accordance with EPA regulations and MCA 75-5-402. Generally, industrial, municipal, and other facilities must obtain NPDES permits if their discharges go directly to surface waters.

Developers must obtain a Section 401 Water Quality Certification from the MDEQ if their project implicates any federal license or permit issued to construct or operate a facility which may result in any fill or discharge into waters of the United States, which includes wetlands. The MDEQ has developed administrative rules for water quality certification under Rules of 17.30.101 -17.30.109.

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Determine Which State and Federal Permits Apply

Use this overview flowchart and following steps to learn which federal and state permits apply to your projects.