Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 1. Policy and General Provisions

Policy And Legislative Findings

75-20-102. Policy and legislative findings. (1) The legislature, mindful of its constitutional obligations under Article II, section 3, and Article IX of the Montana constitution, has enacted the Montana Major Facility Siting Act. It is the legislature's intent that the requirements of this chapter provide adequate remedies for the protection of the environmental life support system from degradation and provide adequate remedies to prevent unreasonable depletion and degradation of natural resources.

(2) It is the constitutionally declared policy of this state to maintain and improve a clean and healthful environment for present and future generations, to protect the environmental life-support system from degradation and prevent unreasonable depletion and degradation of natural resources, and to provide for administration and enforcement to attain these objectives.

(3) It is also constitutionally declared in the state of Montana that the inalienable rights of the citizens of this state include the right to pursue life's basic necessities, to enjoy and defend life and liberty, to acquire, possess, and protect property, and to seek safety, health, and happiness in all lawful ways. The balancing of these constitutional rights is necessary in order to maintain a sustainable quality of life for all Montanans.

(4) The legislature finds that the construction of additional electric transmission facilities, pipeline facilities, or geothermal facilities may be necessary to meet the increasing need for electricity, energy, and other products. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that the location, construction, and operation of electric transmission facilities, pipeline facilities, or geothermal facilities are in compliance with state law and that an electric transmission facility, pipeline facility, or geothermal facility may not be constructed or operated within this state without a certificate of compliance acquired pursuant to this chapter.

(5) The legislature finds that increasing the capacity of existing transmission lines by replacing less efficient aging low-voltage transmission lines with higher-voltage lines, installing new conductors to lower impedance, and adding circuits to existing transmission lines within existing linear corridors reduces energy loss, conserves energy, and prevents unreasonable depletion and degradation of natural resources. Therefore, transmission upgrades within existing corridors serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity and transmission providers are encouraged to construct those transmission upgrades.

(6) The legislature also finds that it is the purpose of this chapter to:

(a) ensure protection of the state's environmental resources, including but not limited to air, water, animals, plants, and soils;

(b) ensure consideration of socioeconomic impacts;

(c) provide citizens with the opportunity to participate in facility siting decisions; and

(d) establish a coordinated and efficient method for the processing of all authorizations required for regulated facilities under this chapter.

History: En. Sec. 2, Ch. 327, L. 1973; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 494, L. 1975; R.C.M. 1947, 70-802; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 329, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 293, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 217, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 21, Ch. 361, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 224, L. 2011.