Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 2. Standards, Permits, and Variances

State Regulations No More Stringent Than Federal Regulations Or Guidelines -- Exceptions -- Procedure

75-2-207. State regulations no more stringent than federal regulations or guidelines -- exceptions -- procedure. (1) After April 14, 1995, except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) or unless required by state law, the department may not adopt a rule to implement this chapter that is more stringent than the comparable federal regulations or guidelines that address the same circumstances. The department may incorporate by reference comparable federal regulations or guidelines.

(2) (a) The department may adopt a rule to implement this chapter that is more stringent than comparable federal regulations or guidelines only if:

(i) a public hearing is held;

(ii) public comment is allowed; and

(iii) the department makes a written finding after the public hearing and comment period that is based on evidence in the record that the proposed standard or requirement:

(A) protects public health or the environment;

(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 (2)(a)(iii) must reference information and peer-reviewed scientific studies contained in the record that form the basis for the department'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 standard or requirement.

(c) (i) A person or entity affected by a rule of the department adopted after January 1, 1990, and before April 14, 1995, that the person or entity believes is more stringent than comparable federal regulations or guidelines may petition the department to review the rule.

(ii) If the department determines that the rule is more stringent than comparable federal regulations or guidelines, the department shall either revise the rule to conform to the federal regulations or guidelines or follow the process provided in subsections (2)(a) and (2)(b) within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 6 months after receiving the petition.

(iii) A petition under this section does not relieve the petitioner of the duty to comply with the challenged rule. The department may charge a petition filing fee in an amount not to exceed $250.

(iv) A person may also petition the department for a rule review under subsection (2)(a) if the department adopts a rule after January 1, 1990, in an area in which no federal regulations or guidelines existed and the federal government subsequently establishes comparable regulations or guidelines that are less stringent than the previously adopted department rule.

(3) This section does not apply to a rule adopted under the emergency rulemaking provisions of 2-4-303(1).

History: En. Sec. 2, Ch. 471, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 536, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 14, Ch. 324, L. 2021.