The Environmental Quality Council is a state legislative committee created by the 1971 Montana Environmental Policy Act. As outlined in MEPA, the EQC's purpose is to encourage conditions under which people can coexist with nature in "productive harmony". The Council fulfills this purpose by assisting the Legislature in the development of natural resource and environmental policy, by conducting studies on related issues and by serving in an advisory capacity to the state's natural resource programs.
The EQC is composed of 17 Montana citizens: 6 are state senators; 6 are state representatives; 4 are members of the public; and 1, a nonvoting member, represents the Governor. Council members serve 2-year terms, concurrent with the state legislative bienniums. Members may serve no more than 3 terms. The EQC is bipartisan. The House, Senate and public members are all chosen by the majority and minority leaders of each house.
The statutory duties of the Council are described in 75-1-324 of the Montana Environmental Policy Act.