Environmental Quality Council

EQC Meets July 12 to Consider Urging Federal Action on Fire-Related Issues

Committee: Environmental Quality Council
Author: Hope Stockwell
Posted on July 5, 2017

Image of the Montana Capitol Building Interior

The Environmental Quality Council (EQC) meets July 12 at 10 a.m. to consider a letter urging federal action on two fire-related issues.

The meeting is in room 152 in the Capitol, but members of the EQC will participate by phone. Public comment may be provided in person during the meeting or in writing. The meeting will be broadcast.

At a meeting last month, the EQC discussed an ongoing dispute with the federal government and the Forest Service where Montana UH-1H helicopters are not classified as approved aircraft for initial attack on federal lands. The EQC also discussed the increased risk of fire in Eastern Montana this season and the need for additional federal resources to battle blazes.

At the July 12 meeting, the council will consider sending a letter related to those issues to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Created in 1971, the EQC is a bipartisan panel with 16 voting members, including 12 legislators and four members of the public. A representative of the governor is a nonvoting member.

Representatives assigned to the EQC are Willis Curdy, D-Missoula; Janet Ellis, D-Helena; Steve Gunderson, R-Libby; Bradley Maxon Hamlett, D-Cascade (vice chairman); Theresa Manzella, R-Hamilton; and Kerry White, R-Bozeman.  Senators are Mike Lang, R-Malta; Mike Phillips, D-Bozeman; JP Pomnichowski, D-Bozeman; Cary Smith, R-Billings; Chas Vincent, R-Libby (chairman); and Gene Vuckovich, D-Anaconda.  Public members are Scott Aspenlieder, Billings; John Brenden, Scobey; Kylie Paul, Missoula; and Matt Vincent, Butte. Patrick Holmes represents the governor.

The meeting is live streamed at http://leg.mt.gov and broadcast on Television Montana (TVMT.) Check local channel listings to find TVMT. For more information about the meeting, including a full agenda, visit the committee’s website or contact Hope Stockwell, committee staff.