23 Jan Judge Eddy found that MAWC’s discharge permit was unlawfully granted
MAWC had planned to form, rinse, and fill 1.2 billion 20-ounce bottles of water every year, but Judge Eddy found that MAWC’s discharge permit was unlawfully granted by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
In her first ruling, from July, 2021, Judge Eddy found that the DEQ failed to take a “hard look” at the environmental impacts of issuing the wastewater permit despite specific concerns raised by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—including missing aquifer information, bull trout habitat, and effluent content.
On August 13, 2021, Water for Flathead’s Future (WFF) and several landowners in the Egan Slough area requested vacatur of both permits, which the Montana Supreme Court had recently ruled was the appropriate remedy for violations of the Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA). In this most recent decision, Judge Eddy agreed that vacatur of MAWC’s discharge permit is the appropriate remedy for DEQ’s failures to abide by MEPA.