MTPR

coal

Solar panels.
(PD)

The Montana Secretary of State has given supporters of a 2018 ballot initiative that would require utility companies to use much more renewable energy approval to start collecting signatures.

Initiative 184 would require public utility companies to gradually increase their use of renewable energy from the current level of 15 percent to 80 percent by 2050.

Lake Koocanusa
Darren Kirby (CC-BY-SA-3)

The U.S. Geological Survey has released a new modeling framework for collection and analysis of selenium data in Lake Koocanusa.

The framework is designed to organize data collected by different agencies using different protocols, with a long-term goal of helping managers develop a common water quality standard for selenium levels in Lake Koocanusa, which straddles the international border.

A Coal Mine in the Powder River basin.
U.S. Geological Survey

The nomination of a new regulator of surface mines in the United States is receiving praise from pro-coal groups in Montana but criticism from environmental groups in the state.

President Trump nominated Steve Gardner Thursday for the position of Director of the Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement.

The Kootenai Bridge over Lake Koocanusa from the east bank.
David M. Carson (CC-BY-SA-4)

 Editor's note: We've corrected part of this story. Read below.

Coal mines in Canada have been sending a harmful heavy metal downstream to northwest Montana for years, but state, tribal, federal and Canadian agencies all have different standards for how much is too much. Those agencies are meeting this week, and speaking with the public to try to come up with common standards.

Lake Koocanusa
Darren Kirby (CC-BY-SA-3)

A group that tracks water quality in northwest Montana is holding meetings this week about potential contamination in Lake Koocanusa and nearby rivers.

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