U.S. Attorney’s Office and U.S. Department Of Justice Announce Conclusion Of The First Montana Environmental La
Compliance and Enforcement Conference
The United States Attorney for the District of Montana, Michael W. Cotter, announced the conclusion of an Environmental Law Compliance and Enforcement Conference for North-Central Montana energy producers held today in Great Falls. The meeting was the first of its kind in Montana and included over 70 participants from 18 oil and gas companies, three wind energy companies, three environmental consulting firms, the Blackfeet Tribe, three state agencies, six federal agencies, and one industry trade group. The conference was organized by the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Montana, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
During the conference, U.S. Attorney Cotter presented opening remarks which were followed by presentations from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the Montana Board of Oil and Gas, the Blackfeet Tribe, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice.
The day-long conference focused on assisting energy producers with understanding and navigating government environmental regulations and compliance obligations. During the conference, state and federal government officials, Tribal representatives and representatives from private industry discussed issues such as federal rules and regulations applicable to energy companies, criminal enforcement issues in the energy production sector and the rules, regulations and penalties for unpermitted avian takes by industry. The overarching goal of all of the presentations was to educate private industry on the importance of cooperation with government entities and regulators before issues arise on job sites.
After the conference, U.S. Attorney Michael W. Cotter stated: "The great state of Montana sprawls over 145,000 square miles with an estimated population of 917,000 people - that is six people per square mile. The vastness of the state of Montana and its abundant natural resources make it a ripe target for mischief. Today's conference is a step forward in coordinating the work of law enforcement, Tribal partners and private industry as our nation and state move towards domestic energy exploration and development."