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U.S. Attorney’s Office and U.S. Department Of Justice Announce Conclusion Of The Second Montana Environmental La

Thursday, March 29, 2012

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 Eastern Montana energy producers held March 28th in Miles City. The meeting was the second of its kind in Montana. The first such conference was held in Great Falls on October 18, 2011. The conference today in Miles City included over 70 participants, including multiple representatives from 22 different energy companies, 12 Tribal representatives, and multiple representatives from state and federal agencies. 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 U.S. 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, in addition to the conference held in October, is another 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."



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