Happy Birthday Clean Water Act – You’re 45 years old!
Posted on October 13, 2017
What the Clean Water Act means to Montana
As we celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, we need to be doing more, not less, to ensure safe, clean water for future generations.
Whether fishing a mountain stream, irrigating alfalfa crops, or simply drinking a glass of water, every Montanan appreciates that clean water is critical for our state’s economic and environmental well-being.
As background on the Clean Water Act in Montana:
Montana was given authority by the federal government to implement national Clean Water Act programs in 1974.
Reasons to Celebrate Montana’s clean water:
- The Clean Water Act helps protect innumerable creeks, streams, wetlands, and tributaries in Montana.
- We all love having clean drinking water come out of our tap!
- The Clean Water Act establishes the basic structure for limiting pollutants that might go into our lakes, rivers and streams. It provides legal authority for Montana to establish water quality standards too.
- If you fish, thank the Clean Water Act! Fishery management preserves and improves populations of wild fish, with a priority on conserving populations of native species, such as cutthroat trout, bull trout and Arctic Grayling.
- Silver Bow Creek in Butte and the Clark Fork-Blackfoot River confluence had almost lost all of their aquatic life and value for area communities just 10 years ago. Thanks to the EPA, Clean Water Act, and Superfund laws, today these areas are cleaned up and benefiting people, fish, and wildlife.
- Several lawsuits prevented mines from polluting Montana streams under the Clean Water Act, including the Seven Up Pete mine in the Blackfoot Valley and the Montanore Mine in Northwestern Montana.
- Many millions of federal dollars have come to Montana to protect our clean streams, wetlands, groundwater, rivers, and lakes.
What you can do right now:
Montana has a long history of standing up for clean water. Contact Montana’s Congressional delegation
Black-necked Stilt. Photo by Bob Martinka.
and tell them that they need to fully fund the Environmental Protection Agency and Clean Water Act programs that help Montana communities, streams, and rivers maintain clean water—and recover from pollution mistakes made in the past. In Montana contact:
- Senator Steve Daines: (202) 224-2651 (Washington, DC); or email;
- Senator Jon Tester: (202) 224-2644 (Washington, DC); or email; and
- Representative Greg Gianforte: (202) 225-3211 (Washington, DC); or email.