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Tribal Aquatics Permit

Conducting work in streams, rivers, lakes or wetlands within a Reservation generally requires a permit issued by the environmental office of the Tribe.  Examples of these include the Shoreline Protection Act 64A application (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation), and the Aquatic Lands Protection Ordinance 90-A (Blackfeet Nation). Each Tribe has its own process and requirements, and should be consulted directly for specifics. In general, Tribal permitting requirements mirror state and federal permits.

Contacts can be found by clicking the following link:  Bureau of Indian Affairs

Section 10 Rivers and Harbors Act

This permit is required for construction of any structure in, under, or over a federally listed navigable water of the United States, the excavation or deposition of material in such waters, or the accomplishment of any other work affecting the course, location, condition, or capacity of such waters. Navigable waters in Montana are the Missouri River downstream of Three Forks, the Yellowstone River downstream of Emigrant, and the Kootenai River from the Canadian border downstream to Jennings, Montana. 

Contact: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

Montana Regulatory Office

10 West 15th Street, Suite 2200

Helena, Montana 59626

Phone: (406) 441-1375

Streamside Management Zone Law (SMZ)

This permit is required for any landowner or operator conducting forest practices that will access, harvest, or regenerate trees on a defined land area for commercial purposes on private, state, or federal lands. 

Contact: Forestry Division

Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation

2705 Spurgin Road Missoula, Montana  59801

Phone: (406) 542-4300

Montana Land-use License or Easement on Navigable Water

This permit is required for any entity proposing a project on lands below the low water mark of navigable waters. For a list of waters classified as navigable, follow this link. For a full overview of the permit, click here or contact the entity below.

Contact: DNRC Land Office

OrSpecial Use Management Bureau Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation

1539 11th Ave, P.O. Box 201601

Helena, Montana 59620-1601

Phone: (406) 444-2074

Montana Point Discharge Elimination System (MPDES) Stormwater Permit

This permit is required for any person, agency, or entity proposing construction, industrial, or mining activity that will discharge stormwater to Montana waters and construction that will disturb more than one acre within 100 feet of streams, rivers, or lakes. Construction dewatering is also covered by MPDES permitting. For a full overview of the permit, download our printable version of all potential permits required, or contact the entity below.

Contact: Water Protection Bureau

Permitting and Compliance Division

Department of Environmental Quality

1520 E. Sixth Avenue, P.O. Box 200901

Helena, Montana 59620-0901

Phone: (406) 444-3080

Water Rights Permitting

Diversion appropriation and beneficial use of surface and groundwater in Montana requires a valid water right. New appropriations or changes in existing water rights require an application to be filed with the DNRC. Changes to existing rights may include alterations in place of use or point of diversion. Conversion of an existing water right from one use to another (e.g., irrigation to fish pond) require a change application. Water rights should be filed on small (<35 gpm), individual wells once the water is put to use.

Be sure to consult with DNRC before using new water or changing existing water rights/uses!

Contact: Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation

Water Resources Division, Water Rights Bureau

P.O. Box 201601

Helena, Montana 59620-1601

Phone: (406) 444-6610

Fish Stocking Permit

Fish stocking of a private pond may legally be undertaken only after a Non-Commercial Private Fish Pond License has been issued by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (MFWP). If a pond meets certain requirements, the owner of the pond may qualify for a fish stocking license. This allows the pond owner to “stock the fish pond with” approved fish species “procured from any lawful source” and to “take fish from the lake or pond in any manner.” State fishing regulations and licenses are not required to take fish from a private pond. 

Contact: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

1420 East Sixth Avenue, PO Box 200701

Helena, Montana 59620-0701

Phone: (406) 444-2535

Montana Floodplain and Floodway Management Act (Floodplain Development Permit)

This permit is required for anyone planning new construction within a designated 100-year floodplain.  Check with your local planning office to determine whether a 100-year floodplain has been designated for the stream of interest. Projects that have the potential to alter the mapped 100-year flood elevation may require extensive hydraulic analysis and permit review.

Contact: Your Local Floodplain Administrator 

Or: Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation

Water Resources Division

P.O. Box 201601

Helena, Montana 59620-1601

Phone: (406) 444-6654, or (406) 444-6610

Federal Clean Water Act (404 Act)

This permit is required by any person, agency, or entity, either public or private, proposing a project that will result in the discharge or placement of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States.  Waters of the United States includes lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent), wetlands, and other aquatic sites. Stream and wetland work may require mitigation of impacts, including the Montana Stream Mitigation Procedure (MSMP).

Contact: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

Montana Regulatory Office

10 West 15th Street, Suite 2200

Helena, Montana 59626

Phone: (406) 441-1375

Short-term Turbidity (318 Permit)

This permit is required for any person, agency, or entity, either public or private, initiating a short-term activity that may cause unavoidable short-term violation of state water quality standards. The major application of this law is related to sediments and turbidity caused by construction or other activities.

Helpful Hint:  Oftentimes, the 318 permit is included within the 310 permit process.

 

Contact: Water Protection Bureau

Permitting and Compliance Division

Department of Environmental Quality

1520 E. Sixth Avenue, P.O. Box 200901

Helena, Montana 59620-0901

Phone: (406) 444-3080

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