75-2-301. Local air pollution control programs -- consistency with state and federal regulations -- procedure for public notice and comment required. (1) After public hearing, a municipality or county may establish and administer a local air pollution control program if the program is consistent with this chapter and is approved by the board.
(2) If a local air pollution control program established by a county encompasses all or part of a municipality, the county and each municipality shall approve the program in accordance with subsection (1).
(3) (a) Except as provided in subsection (5), the board by order may approve a local air pollution control program that:
(i) subject to subsection (4), provides by rule, ordinance, or local law for requirements compatible with, more stringent than, or more extensive than those imposed by 75-2-203, 75-2-204, 75-2-211, 75-2-212, 75-2-215, 75-2-217 through 75-2-219, and 75-2-402 and rules adopted under these sections;
(ii) provides for the enforcement of requirements established under subsection (3)(a)(i) by appropriate administrative and judicial processes; and
(iii) provides for administrative organization, staff, financial resources, and other resources necessary to effectively and efficiently carry out the program. As part of meeting these requirements, a local air pollution control program may administer the permit or registration fee provisions of 75-2-220. The permit or registration fees collected by a local air pollution control program must be deposited in a county special revenue fund to be used by the local air pollution control program for administration of local air pollution control program permitting or registration activities.
(b) Board approval of a rule, ordinance, or local law that is more stringent than the comparable state law is subject to the provisions of subsection (4).
(4) (a) A local air pollution control program may, subject to approval by the board, adopt a rule, ordinance, or local law to implement this chapter that is more stringent than comparable state or federal regulations or guidelines only if:
(i) a public hearing is held;
(ii) public comment is allowed; and
(iii) the board or the local air pollution control program makes a written finding after the public hearing and comment period that is based on evidence in the record that the proposed local standard or requirement:
(A) protects public health or the environment of the area;
(B) can mitigate harm to the public health or the environment; and
(C) is achievable with current technology.
(b) The written finding required under subsection (4)(a)(iii) must reference information and peer-reviewed scientific studies contained in the record that form the basis for the board's or the local air pollution control program's conclusion. The written finding must also include information from the hearing record regarding costs to the regulated community that are directly attributable to the proposed local standard or requirement.
(c) (i) A person or entity affected by a rule, ordinance, or local law approved or adopted after January 1, 1996, and before May 1, 2001, that the person or entity believes is more stringent than comparable state or federal regulations or guidelines may petition the board or the local air pollution control program to review the rule, ordinance, or local law.
(ii) If the board or local air pollution control program determines that the rule, ordinance, or local law is more stringent than state or federal regulations or guidelines, the board or local air pollution control program shall either revise the rule, ordinance, or local law to conform to the state or federal regulations or guidelines or follow the process provided in subsections (4)(a) and (4)(b) within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 6 months after receiving the petition.
(5) Except for those emergency powers provided for in 75-2-402, the board may not delegate to a local air pollution control program the authority to control any air pollutant source that:
(a) requires the preparation of an environmental impact statement in accordance with Title 75, chapter 1, part 2;
(b) is subject to regulation under the Montana Major Facility Siting Act, as provided in Title 75, chapter 20; or
(c) has the potential to emit 250 tons a year or more of any pollutant subject to regulation under this chapter, including fugitive emissions, unless the authority to control the source was delegated to a local air pollution control program prior to January 1, 1991.
(6) If the board finds that the location, character, or extent of particular concentrations of population, air pollutant sources, or geographic, topographic, or meteorological considerations or any combination of these makes impracticable the maintenance of appropriate levels of air quality without an areawide air pollution control program, the board may determine the boundaries within which the program is necessary and require it as the only acceptable alternative to direct state administration.
(7) If the board has reason to believe that any part of an air pollution control program in force under this section is either inadequate to prevent and control air pollution in the jurisdiction to which the program relates or is being administered in a manner inconsistent with this chapter, the board shall, on notice, conduct a hearing on the matter.
(8) If, after the hearing, the board determines that any part of the program is inadequate to prevent and control air pollution in the jurisdiction to which it relates or that it is not accomplishing the purposes of this chapter, it shall require that necessary corrective measures be taken within a reasonable time, not to exceed 60 days.
(9) If the jurisdiction fails to take these measures within the time required, the department shall administer within that jurisdiction all of the provisions of this chapter, including the terms contained in any applicable board order, that are necessary to correct the deficiencies found by the board. The department's control program supersedes all municipal or county air pollution laws, rules, ordinances, and requirements in the affected jurisdiction. The cost of the department's action is a charge on the jurisdiction.
(10) If the board finds that the control of a particular air pollutant source because of its complexity or magnitude is beyond the reasonable capability of the local jurisdiction or may be more efficiently and economically performed at the state level, it may direct the department to assume and retain control over that air pollutant source. A charge may not be assessed against the jurisdiction. Findings made under this subsection may be either on the basis of the nature of the sources involved or on the basis of their relationship to the size of the communities in which they are located.
(11) A jurisdiction in which the department administers all or part of its air pollution control program under subsection (9) may, with the approval of the board, establish or resume an air pollution control program that meets the requirements of subsection (3).
(12) A municipality or county may administer all or part of its air pollution control program in cooperation with one or more municipalities or counties of this state or of other states.
(13) Local air pollution control programs established under this section shall provide procedures for public notice, public hearing, public comment, and appeal for any proposed new or revised rules, ordinances, or local laws adopted pursuant to this section. The procedures must comply with the following requirements:
(a) The local air pollution control program shall create and maintain a list of interested persons who wish to be informed of actions related to rules, ordinances, or local laws adopted by the local air pollution control program.
(b) At least 30 days prior to the adoption, revision, or repeal of a rule, ordinance, or law, the local air pollution control program shall give written notice of its intended action.
(c) The notice required under subsection (13)(b) must include:
(i) a statement of the terms or substance of the intended action or a description of the subjects and issues affected by the intended action;
(ii) an explanation of the procedure for a person to be included on the list of interested persons established pursuant to subsection (13)(a);
(iii) an explanation of the procedures and deadlines for presentation of oral or written comments related to the intended action;
(iv) an explanation of the process for requesting a public hearing as provided in subsection (13)(f); and
(v) the rationale for the intended action. The rationale must:
(A) include an explanation of why the intended action is reasonably necessary to implement the goals and purposes of the local air pollution control program;
(B) specifically address those intended actions for which there are no similar state or federal regulations or guidelines; and
(C) be written in plain, easily understood language.
(d) For the purposes of subsection (13)(c)(v), a statement of authority to adopt a rule, ordinance, or local law does not, standing alone, constitute a showing of reasonable necessity for the intended action.
(e) The local air pollution control program shall mail a copy of the proposed rule, ordinance, or local law to all interested persons on the list established pursuant to subsection (13)(a) who have made timely requests to be included on the list.
(f) If at least 10 of the persons who will be directly affected by the proposed rule, ordinance, or local law request a public hearing, the local air pollution control program shall hold a hearing to hear comments from the public on the intended action.
(g) The local air pollution control program shall prepare a written response to all comments submitted in writing or presented at the public hearing for consideration prior to adoption, revision, or repeal of the proposed rule, ordinance, or local law.
(h) A person who submits a written comment on a proposed action or who attends a public hearing in regard to a proposed action must be informed of the final action.
History: En. Sec. 16, Ch. 313, L. 1967; amd. Sec. 23, Ch. 349, L. 1974; R.C.M. 1947, 69-3919; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 560, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 141, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 19, Ch. 502, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 8, Ch. 471, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 536, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 339, L. 2015.