Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 1. General Provisions

Local Regulations No More Stringent Than State Regulations Or Guidelines

50-2-130. Local regulations no more stringent than state regulations or guidelines. (1) After April 14, 1995, except as provided in subsections (2) through (4) or unless required by state law, the local board may not propose for adoption by the local governing body a rule under 50-2-116(1)(j), (2)(c)(iii), or (2)(c)(iv) that is more stringent than the comparable state regulations or guidelines that address the same circumstances. The local board may incorporate by reference comparable state regulations or guidelines.

(2) The local board may propose for adoption by the local governing body a rule to implement 50-2-116(1)(j), (2)(c)(iii), or (2)(c)(iv) that is more stringent than comparable state regulations or guidelines only if the local board makes a written finding, after a public hearing and public comment and based on evidence in the record, that:

(a) the proposed local standard or requirement protects public health or the environment; and

(b) the local board standard or requirement to be imposed can mitigate harm to the public health or environment and is achievable under current technology.

(3) The written finding must reference information and peer-reviewed scientific studies contained in the record that forms the basis for the local board's conclusion. The written finding must also include information from the hearing record regarding the costs to the regulated community that are directly attributable to the proposed local standard or requirement.

(4) (a) A person affected by a rule of the local board adopted after January 1, 1990, and before April 14, 1995, that that person believes to be more stringent than comparable state regulations or guidelines may petition the local board to review the rule. If the local board determines that the rule is more stringent than comparable state regulations or guidelines, the local board shall comply with this section by either revising the rule to conform to the state regulations or guidelines or making the written finding, as provided under subsection (2), within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 12 months after receiving the petition. A petition under this section does not relieve the petitioner of the duty to comply with the challenged rule. The local board may charge a petition filing fee in an amount not to exceed $250.

(b) A person may also petition the local board for a rule review under subsection (4)(a) if the local board adopts a rule after January 1, 1990, in an area in which no state regulations or guidelines existed and the state government subsequently establishes comparable regulations or guidelines that are less stringent than the previously adopted local board rule.

History: En. Sec. 4, Ch. 471, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 9, Ch. 391, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 19, Ch. 386, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 7, Ch. 150, L. 2007; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 204, L. 2021.