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SENATE BILL NO. 72
INTRODUCED BY B. KEENAN
BY REQUEST OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
AN ACT GENERALLY REVISING THE WATER QUALITY, PUBLIC WATER SUPPLY, AND WATER AND WASTEWATER TREATMENT OPERATORS LAWS; EXEMPTING CERTAIN WATER DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS FROM THE REQUIREMENT TO USE A CERTIFIED OPERATOR; AMENDING THE NONDEGRADATION NITRATE SIGNIFICANCE THRESHOLD FOR MULTIFAMILY, PUBLIC, AND MUNICIPAL SEWAGE SYSTEMS; AMENDING PUBLIC WATER SUPPLY LAWS BY INCREASING THE MAXIMUM ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTY; DELETING THE REQUIREMENT TO OBTAIN APPROVAL TO CONDUCT CERTAIN ACTIVITIES IN MUNICIPAL WATERSHEDS; REPEALING PROVISIONS RELATED TO THE BOARD OF ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW'S CONTROL OF CERTAIN FUNDS; AMENDING SECTIONS 37-42-103, 37-42-302, 37-42-304, 37-42-308, 75-5-301, 75-6-109, AND 75-6-112, MCA; REPEALING SECTION 75-5-501, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 37-42-103, MCA, is amended to read:
"37-42-103. Exemption. Operators of plants or systems
serving less than 10 families that do not serve 15 or more
service connections or 25 or more people for at least 60 days of the calendar year are exempt from this chapter."
Section 2. Section 37-42-302, MCA, is amended to read:
"37-42-302. Unlawful to operate plant or system without certified operator -- department to issue temporary
certificates -- exception. (1)
It Except as provided in subsection (3), it is unlawful for a person, firm, or corporation, both
municipal and private, operating a wastewater treatment plant, water treatment plant, or water distribution system to operate
it the plant or system unless the competency of the operator is certified to by the department under this chapter.
Furthermore Except as provided in subsection (3), it is unlawful for a person to perform the duties of an operator
without being certified under this chapter.
(3) The prohibitions in subsections (1) and (2) do not pertain to a water distribution system that:
(a) does not contain a treatment facility;
(b) obtains all of its water from a public water supply system but is not owned or operated by the owner or operator of that public water supply system; and
(c) does not sell water.
(3)(4) For good cause shown, the department may issue temporary certificates that are valid for up to 1 year."
Section 3. Section 37-42-304, MCA, is amended to read:
"37-42-304. Application for operator's certificate -- fee. A person desiring to engage in the operation of a water
treatment plant, water distribution system, or wastewater treatment plant shall first file an application with the department
for a proper certificate. The department shall charge a fee of the same amount as the license cost as established pursuant to
and shall, except that the department shall reduce the fee by the amount that the cost of processing the application
is offset by federal funds received. The department may not act on an application until the fee has been paid."
Section 4. Section 37-42-308, MCA, is amended to read:
"37-42-308. Annual renewal -- fees -- revocation for failure to renew -- reinstatement -- notice of suspension. (1)
Certificates issued under this chapter
shall must be renewed annually before July 1. A certificate issued after July 1 expires
the following June 30. After the payment of the initial fee under 37-42-304, a certificate holder shall pay before July 1 of
each certificate year a renewal fee according to the schedule adopted by the department pursuant to 37-1-134, except that
the department shall reduce the fee by the amount that the cost of administering the certificate is offset by federal funds
received to fund the administration of the program.
(2) If a certificate holder does not apply for a renewal of
his the certificate before July 1 and remit to the department the
necessary renewal fee, he the department shall suspend the have his certificate suspended by the department. If the The
department shall revoke any certificate that remains suspended for a period of more than 30 days , it shall be revoked by the
department. However, the department, before this revocation, shall notify the certificate holder by certified mail at the
address on the issued certificate of its intention to revoke, at least 10 days before the time set for action to be taken by the
department on the certificate.
(3) A certificate once revoked may not be reinstated unless it appears that an injustice has occurred through error or omission or other fact or circumstances indicating to the department that the certificate holder was not guilty of negligence or laches.
(4) Notice of suspension
shall must be given to the certificate holder when the suspension occurs and to the proper
official or owner of the treatment works or distribution system.
(5) If a person whose certificate has been revoked through
his the person's own fault desires to continue as a water or
wastewater plant operator, he must the person shall make application to the department under 37-42-304. Successful
completion of an examination may be required at the discretion of the department."
Section 5. Section 75-5-301, MCA, is amended to read:
"75-5-301. Classification and standards for state waters. Consistent with the provisions of 80-15-201 and this chapter, the board shall:
(1) establish the classification of all state waters in accordance with their present and future most beneficial uses, creating an appropriate classification for streams that, due to sporadic flow, do not support an aquatic ecosystem that includes salmonid or nonsalmonid fish;
(2) (a) formulate and adopt standards of water quality, giving consideration to the economics of waste treatment and prevention. When rules are adopted regarding temporary standards, they must conform with the requirements of 75-5-312.
(b) Standards adopted by the board must meet the following requirements:
(i) for carcinogens, the water quality standard for protection of human health must be the value associated with an excess lifetime cancer risk level, assuming continuous lifetime exposure, not to exceed 1 x 10-3 in the case of arsenic and 1 x 10-5 for other carcinogens. However, if a standard established at a risk level of 1 x 10-3 for arsenic or 1 x 10-5 for other carcinogens violates the maximum contaminant level obtained from 40 CFR, part 141, then the maximum contaminant level must be adopted as the standard for that carcinogen.
(ii) standards for the protection of aquatic life do not apply to ground water.
(3) review, from time to time at intervals of not more than 3 years and, to the extent permitted by this chapter, revise established classifications of waters and adopted standards of water quality;
(4) adopt rules governing the granting of mixing zones, requiring that mixing zones granted by the department be specifically identified and requiring that mixing zones have:
(a) the smallest practicable size;
(b) a minimum practicable effect on water uses; and
(c) definable boundaries;
(5) adopt rules implementing the nondegradation policy established in 75-5-303, including but not limited to rules that:
(a) provide a procedure for department review and authorization of degradation;
(b) establish criteria for the following:
(i) determining important economic or social development; and
(ii) weighing the social and economic importance to the public of allowing the proposed project against the cost to society associated with a loss of water quality;
(c) establish criteria for determining whether a proposed activity or class of activities, in addition to those activities identified in 75-5-317, will result in nonsignificant changes in water quality for any parameter in order that those activities are not required to undergo review under 75-5-303(3). These criteria must be established in a manner that generally:
(i) equates significance with the potential for harm to human health or the environment;
(ii) considers both the quantity and the strength of the pollutant;
(iii) considers the length of time the degradation will occur;
(iv) considers the character of the pollutant so that greater significance is associated with carcinogens and toxins that bioaccumulate or biomagnify and lesser significance is associated with substances that are less harmful or less persistent.
(d) provide that changes of nitrate as nitrogen in ground water are nonsignificant if the discharge will not cause degradation of surface water and the predicted concentration of nitrate as nitrogen at the boundary of the ground water mixing zone does not exceed:
(i) 7.5 milligrams per liter
for nitrate as nitrogen from sources other than domestic sewage;
(ii) 5.0 milligrams per liter
for domestic from sewage effluent discharged from a conventional septic system that does not
use level two treatment in an area where the ground water nitrate as nitrogen is 5.0 milligrams per liter or less;
(iii) 7.5 milligrams per liter
for domestic from sewage effluent discharged from a septic system using level two treatment,
which must be defined in the rules; or
(iv) 7.5 milligrams per liter
for domestic from sewage effluent discharged from a conventional septic system in areas
where the ground water nitrate as nitrogen level exceeds 5.0 milligrams per liter primarily from sources other than human
(6) to the extent practicable, ensure that the rules adopted under subsection (5) establish objective and quantifiable criteria for various parameters. These criteria must, to the extent practicable, constitute guidelines for granting or denying applications for authorization to degrade high-quality waters under the policy established in 75-5-303(2) and (3).
(7) adopt rules to implement this section."
Section 6. Section 75-6-109, MCA, is amended to read:
"75-6-109. Administrative enforcement. (1) If the department believes that a violation of this part, a rule adopted under this part, or a condition of approval issued under this part has occurred, it may serve written notice of the violation, by certified mail, on the alleged violator or the violator's agent. The notice must specify the provision of this part, the rule, or the condition of approval alleged to have been violated and the facts alleged to constitute a violation. The notice must include an order to take necessary corrective action within a reasonable period of time. The time period must be stated in the order. Service by mail is complete on the date of filing.
(2) If the alleged violator does not request a hearing before the board within 30 days of the date of service, the order becomes final. Failure to comply with a final order may subject the violator to an action commenced pursuant to 75-6-104, 75-6-113, or 75-6-114.
(3) If the alleged violator requests a hearing before the board within 30 days of the date of service, the board shall schedule a hearing. After the hearing is held, the board may:
(a) affirm or modify the department's order issued under subsection (1) if the board finds that a violation has occurred; or
(b) rescind the department's order if the board finds that a violation has not occurred.
(4) An order issued by the department or the board may set a date by which the violation must cease and set a time limit for action to correct a violation.
(5) As an alternative to issuing an order pursuant to subsection (1), the department may:
(a) require the alleged violator to appear before the board for a hearing, at a time and place specified in the notice, to answer the charges complained of; or
(b) initiate an action under 75-6-111(2), 75-6-113, or 75-6-114.
(6) (a) An action initiated under this part may include an administrative penalty not to exceed:
$500 for each day of
(i) $1,000 for each day of a violation pertaining to a public water system, other than a water hauler or a water bottling plant, that serves a population of more than 10,000; and
(ii) $500 for each day of violation for other violations.
(b) Administrative penalties collected under this section must be deposited in the state general fund.
(7) In determining the amount of penalty to be assessed to a person, the department or the board, as appropriate, shall consider the criteria stated in 75-6-114 and the rules promulgated under 75-6-103(2)(i).
(8) The contested case provisions of the Montana Administrative Procedure Act, provided for in Title 2, chapter 4, part 6, apply to a hearing under 75-6-108 or this section."
Section 7. Section 75-6-112, MCA, is amended to read:
"75-6-112. Prohibited acts. A person may not:
(1) discharge sewage, drainage, industrial waste, or other wastes that will cause pollution of state waters used by a person for domestic use or as a source for a public water supply system or water or ice company;
(2) discharge sewage, drainage, industrial waste, or other waste into state waters or on the banks of state waters or into an abandoned or operating water well unless the sewage, drainage, industrial waste, or other waste is treated as prescribed by the board;
(3) build or operate a railroad, logging road, logging camp, or electric or manufacturing plant of any kind on a
watershed of a public water supply system unless: (a) the water supply is protected from pollution by sanitary precautions prescribed by the board; and (b) a permit has been issued by the department after approval of detailed plans and specifications for sanitary
precautions; (4)(3) commence construction, alteration, extension, or operation of a system of water supply or water distribution that
is designed to be a public water supply system or a system of sewer, drainage, waste, or sewage disposal that is designed to
be a public sewage system or industrial waste discharge system before the person submits to the department necessary maps,
plans, and specifications for its review and the department approves those maps, plans, and specifications. However, any
facility reviewed by the department under Title 75, chapter 5, is not subject to the provisions of this section. (5)(4) operate or maintain a public water supply system that exceeds a maximum contaminant level established by the
board unless the person has been granted or has an application pending for a variance or exemption pursuant to this part; (6)(5) violate any provision of this part or a rule adopted under this part; or (7)(6) violate any condition or requirement of an approval issued pursuant to this part."
Section 8. Repealer. Section 75-5-501, MCA, is repealed.
Section 9. Severability. If a part of [this act] is invalid, all valid parts that are severable from the invalid part remain in effect. If a part of [this act] is invalid in one or more of its applications, the part remains in effect in all valid applications that are severable from the invalid applications.
Section 10. Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.
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Latest Version of SB 72 (SB0072.ENR)
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