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EPA nixes Montana's new water quality standards

The Environmental Protection Agency thwarted Montana lawmakers’ attempt to loosen water quality standards last week, telling the state that it acted out of turn by adopting a new regulatory framework without first obtaining federal approval.

In a May 10 letter to the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, the EPA asserted that a law passed by the Montana Legislature last year runs afoul of the federal Clean Water Act. The agency said it’s concerned that the state’s repeal of numeric standards for nitrogen and phosphorus in water bodies as codified in Senate Bill 358 has led to degraded w...

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