Public meeting on the impacts of gas and oil

With just barely enough time to announce a public meeting, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced that there will be a public meeting on April 12 from 6-10 p.m. to discuss the impacts of energy development.

The meeting will take place in the Conrad High School Auditorium at 308 S. Illinois.

The meeting is in conjunction with Pondera County and City of Conrad officials.

The potential for rapid growth in oil and gas development has prompted questions and concerns about the impacts to communities and the environment.

This meeting will feature experts knowledgeable about oil and gas well development and extraction processes, protecting potable water aquifers and the regulations for creating new trailer courts and campgrounds.

The agenda will include: Tom Richmond, Board of Oil and Gas Office, will present information on hydraulic fracturing.

Joe Meek, DEQ, will discuss shallow groundwater and drinking water well protection.

Scott Irvin, DRNC, will discuss water right permitting processes.

Pam Converse, Pondera County Weed Coordinator will discuss Noxious Weed Management Plans required for gravel pits.

Dan Stahley, Pondera County Planner, will discuss development regulations.

And, Steve Killbreath, DEQ, will discuss developing RV spaces, mobile home parks, or subdividing to provide housing.

The panel will be available for questions, comments, or discussions.

Editor’s note: The DEQ will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who may want to participate in this event. Persons need to contact Lisa Peterson, DEQ, at (406) 444-2929.