Montana Department of Environmental Quality

The confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers lies near an oil and gas development near the North Dakota/Montana border, May 31, 2014.
Chris Boyer of Kestrel Aerial Services, Inc./NPCA / FLICKR (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The State of Montana last week finalized its first set of comprehensive rules for disposal of oil and gas production waste.

An overview of the Yellowstone River in Glendive, Montana taken on July 3, 2013.
Tim Evanson / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The federal government this week announced it’ll fine a Glendive sand and gravel company thousands of dollars for releasing polluted stormwater into a nearby watershed and other violations.

Four tall stacks billow white steam into a blue sky
Jackie Yamanaka / Yellowstone Public Radio

Montana is approving part of a plan to clean up groundwater contaminated by waste storage ponds at the Colstrip coal fired power plant after receiving more than 400 comments on the clean-up proposal.

Oil Well
Amy R. Sisk

A Montana legislative interim committee voted Apr. 27 to delay part of a controversial rule that sets guidelines for disposing radioactive oil waste.

Navajo Transitional Energy Company logo.
Navajo Transitional Energy Company / Navajo Transitional Energy Company

Editor's Note 03/31/2020 : This segment has been updated to clarify that NTEC is operating the mine, which Spring Creek Coal LLC, a subsidiary of the now-defunct Cloud Peak Energy, holds the permit to.

The state gave Montana’s most productive coal mine the go-ahead to expand its mining capacity, effectively extending the mine’s life to 2031.

The expansion continues despite the current owner’s debt to the state.

The state of Montana was slated to take control of part of the Libby Asbestos Superfund site from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on April 1. But because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, that transfer is being postponed indefinitely.

Peabody Energy logo.
Peabody Energy / Peabody Energy

Montana will release $3 million to a mining company that started reclaiming around 2,300 acres of land from strip mining in the 90s.

Missouri-based Peabody Energy spent more than 20 years replanting grasses and restoring terrain impacted by operations at the Big Sky Mine area B near Colstrip.

A campsite beside the Smith River on a float trip in April, 2016.
Jeff Jones/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

DEQ said Tuesday morning after the story had been published that the agency has decided to cancel the in-person meetings for the Smith River Algae Study and will offer the Helena meeting as a live stream on DEQ's YouTube channel, Wednesday from 3-5 pm.

Updates on an ongoing study of algae growth on the iconic Smith River are expected from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality this week. Details on the study will be released at public meetings in Helena and White Sulphur Springs.

Running Water Fountain
Joshme17 / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

KALISPELL, Mont. — Montana schools must test drinking water for lead content following state rule changes related to school health.

Coal stacks at Colstrip Power plant
Kayla Deroches / Yellowstone Public Radio


Audio Pending...

A Montana agency on Feb. 11 released a cleanup plan for waste ponds at two of the Colstrip power plant’s four units.