Greater Yellowstone Coalition leaders need to come clean…
On what exactly is going on in Big Sky…?
Since I’ve been pressed lately to prove the accuracy of my previous article, on the subject of Big Sky’s intent to directly-discharge effluent into the Gallatin River, I am now uploading the proof. (LINK to original article)
Copied below is just one key-item of several that this information was gleaned from. The following is verbatim copied from Big Sky Water Sewer District’s minutes, on the subject of Wild and Scenic proposed by Greater Yellowstone Coalition. The entire transcript can be viewed on Big Sky Water Sewer District’s website, by clicking on Minutes, and then downloading the PDF. This copy was legally obtained and is considered public information.
(Pay close attention to number 5)
BIG SKY WATER & SEWER DISTRICT NO. 363 Regular Meeting Minutes – Thursday, April 28,2016 WSD Community Room
^ PRESENTATIONS Wild & Scenic Designation for Gallatin River: Charles Drimal distributed a handout and made a power point presentation on Greater Yellowstone Coalition’s (GYC) efforts to obtain a “wild & scenic” designation for the Gallatin River that would prevent degradation. The Big Sky Region of the “wild & scenic” act includes Gallatin, Taylor Fork and Porcupine. Drimal reviewed what the “act” does and the reasons for its legislation, including GYC thinking it would be important to Big Sky’s economy, growth, and quality of life.
GYC has not received a response on its request for clarification of effluent discharge to the river with regards to a “wild & scenic” designation. Drimal asked the board for a formal endorsement for support on the “wild & scenic” designation. Board members felt that they could support the legislation if it does not impede the District’s ability to get a discharge permit, but questioned whether the District endorses it. Questions and concerns discussed included:
1) What protection would the act provide over what DEQ’s oversight already provides?
2) What impact would the designation have on future upgrades to the transportation corridor?
3) Obtain clarification and flexibility on the transportation corridor before endorsing the proposed legislation.
4) Have legal counsel review the impact of a board decision and also a board decision without seeing the wording of the bill.
5) There are some inconsistencies that the District needs to consider before endorsing the designation, i.e. the budget includes a pipeline to the river only for reserving funding for the project, but not building it this year.
6) What are the consequences and unintended consequences of endorsement?
7) If discharge meets the clean water act by DEQ standards, would the designation affect obtaining a discharge permit?
8) Degradation standards could make it difficult to get a discharge permit as requirements will change.
9) The board needs to know what standards will have to be met for discharge and the cost to meet those standards.
WSD 363 Meeting Minutes of April 28,2016 Page 2 of 5
Drimal understood that clarifications are needed and GYC is working at getting the answers. The “act” is not meant to inhibit maintenance of infrastructure along the corridor. For future transportation upgrades, Drimal supports a line item be written into the legislation to prevent disputing, or impeding, future upgrades. Drimal assured the board that the GYC would not get in the way of a discharge permit.
He feels that discharge can be a benefit to the quality of the Gallatin and believes that there are positive aspects of discharge.
If GYC supports discharge, there is a positive political aspect of the District supporting the “wild & scenic” designation. The board was in agreement to not take action on Drimal’s request today. The board suggested that a management level person of GYC engage with the board, answer questions regarding degradation, and provide formal written answers to the board’s questions and concerns.
More to come….