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DEQ To Host Public Meeting on Multi-Year Algae Study on the Gallatin River

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is hosting a public meeting to provide updates on a multi-year water quality study for the middle segment of the Gallatin River, from Yellowstone National Park to Spanish Creek. In 2023, DEQ determined the river should be listed as impaired for excessive algal growth.

The impairment listing triggered a six-year study to culminate in total maximum daily loads (TMDL) development. A TMDL defines the amount of a certain pollutant a waterbody can hold before it impacts water quality and no longer meets beneficial uses such as agriculture, recreation and aquatic life. DEQ works with local stakeholders to outline a plan to protect or improve water quality, and if DEQ determines TMDLs are needed, the agency will work with these stakeholders to outline a plan to reduce pollutants.

DEQ will conduct extensive monitoring of all factors contributing to algae growth through 2025. A hybrid public meeting will provide updates on the process and study. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 22 in Big Sky at the Big Sky County Water & Sewer District Building. The public can join the meeting in-person, by phone or online. For more information on joining the meeting, visit: https://deq.mt.gov/News/publicmeetings-folder/Public-Meeting-Proposed-Middle-Gallatin-Algae-Impairment

While DEQ conducts studies and determines next steps, individuals, communities, and developers can take action now to protect surface water in the Gallatin, DEQ suggests the following best practices:

Protect and restore a native plant buffer along streambanks.

Prevent soil erosion.

Schedule septic maintenance every 3 to 5 years and upgrade failing septic systems.

Limit the use of fertilizers and pesticides.

Pick up after your pets.

 
 
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