Montana Thermal Discharges: What you need to know

Governing Law and Regulations

Montana Water Quality Act (WQA), Montana Code Annotated (MCA) 75-5-101 to 75-5-1122

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Montana Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (MPDES) permits: Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) 17.30.1201 to 17.30.1387

Surface water quality standards: ARM 17.30.601 to 17.30.670

Regulatory Agencies

Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Permitting and Compliance Division Water Protection Bureau

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 8

See ADDRESSES & CONTACTS for addresses and telephone numbers.

See national section for basic information and federal regulations.

Comparison: State vs. Federal

Rules. Montana regulates water temperatures under its general surface water quality standards. The state also requires that temperature be part of the state's surface water monitoring system under the Montana Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (MPDES) permit program. The state has adopted the federal pretreatment standards for prohibited discharges, including those discharges resulting from heat. See the national section THERMAL DISCHARGES for more information.

Administration and enforcement. DEQ's Water Protection Bureau is fully authorized to administer and enforce the state's water quality program, including thermal discharge requirements.

State Requirements


ARM 17.30.601 to 17.30.670

Montana has adopted surface water quality standards to conserve water by protecting, maintaining, and improving the quality and potability of water for public water supplies, wildlife, fish and aquatic life, agriculture, industry, recreation, and other beneficial uses. All MPDES applicants must provide detailed information concerning the nature of such ...

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State Requirements

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Montana Thermal Discharges Resources

Thermal Discharges Products

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