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Latest summary of EPA actions to ensure safe drinking water in Montana

Release Date: 10/20/2009
Contact Information: Lisa Kahn, 303-312-6896, kahn.lisa@epa.gov

(Denver, Colo. – October 20, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 8 issued 9 administrative orders and settled or litigated 3 penalty actions in Montana from April 1 through September 30, 2009, against public drinking water systems under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). EPA also issued an emergency administrative order in Indian country in Montana.

Although the State of Montana is authorized to implement the drinking water program under the Safe Drinking Water Act, except in Indian country areas, EPA retains authority to take federal action against public water systems in the state that violate the SDWA and its regulations. EPA and Montana have developed a joint work-share arrangement whereby EPA provides federal assistance with selected enforcement cases. EPA and Montana work together to identify the public water systems against which EPA will take federal action.

An administrative order requires the public water system to comply with the drinking water regulations and includes action items for returning to compliance.

EPA issued administrative orders to the following Montana public water systems:

Black Angus Casino, Kalispell
Carter Choteau Water District, Carter
Luccock Methodist Church Camp, Livingston
Potomac Bible Church, Inc., Bonner
Rivershore Mobile Home Park, Great Falls
Shady Nook Trailer Court, Dillon
Shaker’s Steak & Ale, Whitefish
Sphinx Mountain Mobile Home Park, Corwin Springs
United Methodist Camp on the Boulder, McLeod

EPA issues a penalty action when a public water system violates an administrative order. The penalty amount is based on a combination of the seriousness of the violations and the size of the population at risk, among other factors.

EPA settled penalty actions for the following public water systems with the penalty amount noted:

Oak Ridge Estates, Billings
Penalty Amount: $3825.00

China Wok / Bank of the Rockies, Townsend
Penalty Amount: $1000.00

EPA also litigated a penalty for the following water system:

Lincoln Road RV Park, Helena
Penalty Amount: $3,000.00

EPA has direct implementation authority for Indian country areas. EPA issued one emergency administrative order in Indian country in Montana during the period from April 1 to September 30, 2009. On April 15, 2009, EPA issued an emergency order to the East Bay Subdivision water system on the Flathead Reservation when the distribution system lost pressure. In such situations, potentially harmful contaminants can enter the distribution system through cracks and leaks in the pipes. The East Bay Landowners Association took necessary precautions to protect the residents during the pressure loss, and multiple tests conducted after service was restored proved the water to be safe for normal use.

EPA Region 8 directly implements the drinking water program throughout Indian country in the Region and in Wyoming and also oversees the protection of public health and the environment under the Safe Drinking Water Act in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah.