For immediate release
July 20, 2010
Contact: Joe Kolman, Legislative Research Analyst, 406-444-9280
Gayle Shirley, Legislative Information Officer, 406-444-2957
Committee to Consider Bills on Water Rights, Septic Systems
A bipartisan legislative committee will meet next week to consider whether to propose bills on water rights and septic systems during the 2011 session.
The Water Policy Interim Committee will meet July 26 at 9 a.m. and July 27 at 8 a.m. in Room 172 of the State Capitol in Helena. The public is welcome to attend and will have a chance to comment on the work of the committee. A complete agenda and other meeting materials are available on the legislative Web site at www.leg.mt.gov/water.
The committee will discuss whether to continue work on a bill that would allow the holder of a water right to change the right from its current use to water marketing for aquifer recharge or mitigation without having to have a specific contract in place. Under current law, the holder must identify how much water will be used, where it will be used, and who will use it in order to market that right.
The committee also will debate a proposal that would regulate the location of septic systems. More information on both proposals is available at the Web address listed above.
Other topics on the committee’s agenda include:
* implementation of a 2009 law banning the use in certain counties of cleaning products that contain phosphorus;
* the use of temporary nutrient criteria to set permit limits for point-source discharges to surface water;
* regeneration of cottonwood trees along the Missouri River;
* a proposal by Lewis and Clark County officials for inspecting septic systems; and
* the use of stream beds of navigable rivers.
The meeting will be broadcast over the legislative Web site at www.leg.mt.gov and over the state public-access television network TVMT. To find the local TVMT channel, visit www.leg.mt.gov/tvmt.
Members of the Water Policy Interim Committee are Rep. Walt McNutt (chair), R-Sidney; Sen. David Wanzenried (vice chair), D-Missoula; Sen. Debby Barrett, R-Dillon; Rep. Russell Bean, R-Augusta; Sen. Brad Hamlett, D-Cascade; Rep. Bill McChesney, D-Miles City; Sen. Terry Murphy, R-Cardwell; and Rep. JP Pomnichowski, D-Bozeman.
For more information, contact Joe Kolman, committee staff, at 406-444-9280 or email@example.com.