MTPR

Kathy Seeley

The Cabinet Mountains as seen from Highway 56 near Noxon, MT.
U.S. Forest Service Northern Region (PD)

The proposed Montanore copper and silver mine in the Cabinet Mountains has experienced another setback. A state district court judge found Friday that a state-issued water quality permit violated state and federal water quality regulations.

A state judge has revoked the water permit for a silver and copper mine proposed beneath a northwestern Montana wilderness area.

Judge Kathy Seeley said in a recent order that state officials did not adequately consider potential damage to nearby streams from Hecla Mining Company’s Rock Creek Mine.

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

A district judge has rescinded a water right for a water bottling plant near Kalispell.

Montana Artesian Water Company was granted a permit early last year to draw 710 acre feet of water per year by the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. Several groups appealed the permit, and on Tuesday Judge Kathy Seeley ruled in their favor.

Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton, far left, with attorney Emily Jones, on his left, at the Lewis and Clark County courthouse on April 28, 2018. At the podium, Democratic Party Attorney Kevin Hamilton is arguing a case challenging Green Party a
Corin Cates-Carney / MTPR

The court case brought by Democrats challenging the Green Party’s access to the 2018 election ballot in Montana will resume this Thursday under review of a new judge.

Democrats allege Montana’s Republican Secretary of State erred in certifying the Green Party for the ballot.

Voters in Clinton, MT cast ballots during the 2016 elections.
Rebekah Welch

A lawsuit that challenges Green Party candidates’ appearance on election ballots later this year will stay in state court after a federal judge refused to pick up the case.

In the lawsuit, Democrats say not all the signatures gathered in the petition to put Green Party candidates on the ballot should have been counted. They were set to continue calling witnesses in state district court Monday morning.

Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton, far left, with attorney Emily Jones, on his left, at the Lewis and Clark County courthouse on April 28, 2018. At the podium, Democratic Party Attorney Kevin Hamilton is arguing a case challenging Green Party a
Corin Cates-Carney / MTPR

Tuesday a state district court judge heard arguments over whether the Green Party should be allowed on Montana ballots in November. The Montana Democratic Party brought the suit against the Greens and Secretary of State Corey Stapleton.

MTPR’s capitol reporter Corin Cates-Carney was at the Lewis and Clark County courthouse for the hearing, and spoke with MTPR News Director Eric Whitney. 

Senate Republicans Seek To Push Motl Out As Commissioner

Jan 3, 2017
Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl testifies in his lawsuit against Republican Rep. Art Wittich, March 31, 2016.
Kimberly Reed

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Senate Republicans who oppose giving Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl a full six-year term in office want to intervene in a lawsuit that aims to do just that.

Senate Majority Leader Fred Thomas, R-Stevensville, told his GOP caucus Tuesday that a resolution will be introduced as early as Wednesday defending the Senate's confirmation process, which set Jan. 1 as the expiration of Motl's term.

Dems Secret Caucus Plans Raise Concerns

Jan 8, 2016
Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / MTPR

Montana Democratic legislators are slated to gather for a “caucus retreat” at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort next month. According to an e-mail party leaders sent to Democratic lawmakers on Dec. 26, the purpose of the Feb. 6 retreat is to prepare for 2017 legislative session by establishing the party’s priorities ahead of the 2016 election season.