Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 5. Local Regulations

Local Regulations No More Stringent Than State Regulations Or Guidelines

76-3-511. Local regulations no more stringent than state regulations or guidelines. (1) Except as provided in subsections (2) through (4) or unless required by state law, a governing body may not adopt a regulation under 76-3-501 or 76-3-504(1)(g)(iii) that is more stringent than the comparable state regulations or guidelines that address the same circumstances. The governing body may incorporate by reference comparable state regulations or guidelines.

(2) The governing body may adopt a regulation to implement 76-3-501 or 76-3-504(1)(g)(iii) that is more stringent than comparable state regulations or guidelines only if the governing body makes a written finding, after a public hearing and public comment and based on evidence in the record, that:

(a) the proposed local standard or requirement protects public health or the environment; and

(b) the local standard or requirement to be imposed can mitigate harm to the public health or environment and is achievable under current technology.

(3) The written finding must reference information and peer-reviewed scientific studies contained in the record that forms the basis for the governing body's conclusion. The written finding must also include information from the hearing record regarding the costs to the regulated community that are directly attributable to the proposed local standard or requirement.

(4) (a) A person affected by a regulation of the governing body adopted after January 1, 1990, and before April 14, 1995, that that person believes to be more stringent than comparable state regulations or guidelines may petition the governing body to review the regulation. If the governing body determines that the regulation is more stringent than comparable state regulations or guidelines, the governing body shall comply with this section by either revising the regulation to conform to the state regulations or guidelines or by making the written finding, as provided under subsection (2), within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 12 months after receiving the petition. A petition under this section does not relieve the petitioner of the duty to comply with the challenged regulation. The governing body may charge a petition filing fee in an amount not to exceed $250.

(b) A person may also petition the governing body for a regulation review under subsection (4)(a) if the governing body adopts a regulation after January 1, 1990, in an area in which no state regulations or guidelines existed and the state government subsequently establishes comparable regulations or guidelines that are less stringent than the previously adopted governing body regulation.

History: En. Sec. 5, Ch. 471, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 278, Ch. 42, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 302, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 107, Ch. 2, L. 2009.