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State Supreme Court hears arguments over Flathead water bottling plant

Site of the Montana Artesian Water Company bottling plant near Creston, MT.
Nicky Ouellet
/
Montana Public Radio
Site of the Montana Artesian Water Company bottling plant near Creston, MT.

The Montana State Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday over whether a water bottle plant in the Flathead Valley can continue to operate.

The fight over the Montana Artesian Water Company’s operation near Creston dates back to 2014, when the company formed and opposition raised concerns about proposed water use and the environmental impact.

Four years later, local voters approved the expansion of a local zoning district to encompass the bottling plant in an effort to cease its operations, but the issue landed in court.

A lower court ruled that while the expansion of the zoning district was legal, Montana Artesian Water Company’s operation was to be grandfathered in as a legal land use.

The state supreme court is hearing arguments over questions about whether the zoning district expansion was legal and whether the bottling plant’s operations should be grandfathered in.

Aaron graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism in 2015 after interning at Minnesota Public Radio. He landed his first reporting gig in Wrangell, Alaska where he enjoyed the remote Alaskan lifestyle and eventually moved back to the road system as the KBBI News Director in Homer, Alaska. He joined the MTPR team in 2019. Aaron now reports on all things in northwest Montana and statewide health care.
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