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Water Policy Interim Committee to Solicit Public Comment

Posted Date: 
March 20, 2012
Tara DePuy, MACo JPIA Land Use Attorney

The Water Policy Interim Committee will be traveling to Bozeman, Kalispell, and Hamilton in June to gather public comment on legislative proposals regarding exempt wells.

The schedule for the public hearings is:

  • June 19 - Bozeman, Gallatin County Courthouse, 311 W. Main, Room 306, 7:00 p.m.
  • June 20 - Kalispell, Red Lion Inn, 20 N. Main Street, 7:00 p.m.
  • June 21 - Hamilton, Bitterroot River Inn, 139 Bitterroot Plaza Drive, 7:00 p.m.

More information about the meetings and copies of the draft legislation will be available on the committee website in May. If you have questions, please contact Joe Kolman at 444-3747 or

We have previously sent commissioners the bill proposals Tara DePuy's, MACo JPIA Land use Attorney, analysis.  DePuy testified at the last WPIC meeting regarding these bill proposals.  It seems clear that the intent of the interim committee is to send a committee bill to the legislature for the 2013 session.  It also seems that most of the proposed bills will not work, but the interim committee wants comments on all of the bills. 

There has been no scientific evidence that shows senior water users are currently being affected by exempt wells in subdivision, especially not on a state-wide basis, but these bills will affect each and every county in Montana.  Allowing each county to determine when and if exempt wells in subdivisions should be controlled would be a much better solution.

It is critical that county commissioners show up and testify.   The interim committee needs to hear from you in regards to the bill proposals and how they will affect land development and economic growth in your county. 

Tara DePuy | 406.223.1803 |