Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 4. Postcertification and Legal Responsibilities

Additional Requirements By Other Governmental Agencies Not Permitted After Issuance Of Certificate -- Exceptions -- Venue For Challenging Certificate Issuance

75-20-401. Additional requirements by other governmental agencies not permitted after issuance of certificate -- exceptions -- venue for challenging certificate issuance. (1) Notwithstanding any other law, a state or regional agency or municipality or other local government may not require any approval, consent, permit, certificate, or other condition for the construction, operation, or maintenance of a facility authorized by a certificate issued pursuant to this chapter, except that the department and board retain the authority that they have or may be granted to determine compliance of the proposed facility with state and federal standards and implementation plans for air and water quality and to enforce those standards.

(2) This chapter does not prevent the application of state laws for the protection of employees engaged in the construction, operation, or maintenance of a facility.

(3) A judicial challenge to a certificate issued pursuant to this chapter by a party other than the certificate holder or applicant must include the party to whom the certificate was issued as provided in this chapter unless otherwise agreed to by the certificate holder or applicant. All judicial challenges of certificates for projects with a project cost, as determined by the court, of more than $1 million must have precedence over any civil cause of a different nature pending in that court. If the court determines that the challenge was without merit or was for an improper purpose, such as to harass, to cause unnecessary delay, or to impose needless or increased cost in litigation, the court may award attorney fees and costs incurred in defending the action.

(4) An action to challenge the issuance of a certificate pursuant to this chapter must be brought in the county in which the activity authorized by the certificate will occur. If an activity will occur in more than one county, the action may be brought in any of the counties in which the activity will occur.

History: En. Sec. 17, Ch. 327, L. 1973; amd. Sec. 17, Ch. 494, L. 1975; R.C.M. 1947, 70-817; amd. Sec. 18, Ch. 676, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 231, Ch. 418, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 23, Ch. 361, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 10, Ch. 337, L. 2005.