WHEREAS, Treasure County Conservation Districts acts as the fiscal agent for the Coal Bed Methane Protection Act Committee (CBMPA), a group of landowners and producers, representatives of state and federal agencies, and representatives of other grassroots organizations entrusted by the State of Montana to distribute funds under (MCA 76-15-905), and
WHEREAS, the State of Montana further declares (MCA 76-15-901 through 76-15-904) that the purpose of this committee is to establish a long-term CBM protection account and a coal bed methane protection program for the purpose of compensating private landowners and water right holders for damage to soil and crop and to water quality and availability that is attributable to the development of coal bed methane, and
WHEREAS, the development of oil and other natural energy resources has increased dramatically, thereby increasing the demands and effects of water, and
WHEREAS, the CBMPA Committee has worked extensively to create baseline data for producers and water users affected by coal bed methane development, and
WHEREAS, oil and other natural energy resource development should require the same baseline data in the event of negative impacts on water quality and availability.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Montana Association of Conservation Districts approach the next Montana Legislature to request expanding the existing CBMPA law to include development of baseline and long-term monitoring data for all natural energy resources that impact water quality and quantity.
UPDATE 11/2014: Members of the Coal Bed Methane Board, DNRC, and MACD met with the Governor on April 23rd to discuss the importance of the program and emphasize the importance of retaining current funds for their intended use. A bill has been drafted to expand the scope for use of funds to issues related to development. The bill has been drafted and is currently under review by the committee. The committee is looking for a sponsor.