Montana Department of Environmental Quality’s Water Quality Division supports and implements measures to “conserve this valuable resource and ensure that clean lakes, streams, and rivers remain part of Montana’s natural heritage.” The Public Water Supply Bureau (PWS) administers programs that protect the state’s drinking water.
The Constitution of the State of Montana
The state Constitution includes what is known as a “Green Amendment.” Article II, Part II, Section III (Inalienable Rights) states, “All persons are born free and have certain inalienable rights. They include the right to a clean and healthful environment and the rights of pursuing life’s basic necessities, enjoying and defending their lives and liberties, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and seeking their safety, health and happiness in all lawful ways.”
Environmental rights are further described in Article IX, Part IX, Section I, which states, “The state and each person shall maintain and improve a clean and healthful environment in Montana for present and future generations.
(2) The legislature shall provide for the administration and enforcement of this duty.
(3) The legislature shall 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.”