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EPA approves water quality rules for Montana, tribe

EPA approves water quality rules for Montana, tribe

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Federal environmental regulators have approved water quality rules meant to protect southeastern Montana cropland from wastewater produced during natural gas drilling.

They had been opposed by energy companies and officials in neighboring Wyoming.

The rules limit how much salty water that is a byproduct of drilling can enter the Tongue and Powder River basins along the Montana-Wyoming border.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in letters issued Dec. 8 that the rules from Montana and the Northern Cheyenne Tribe were consistent with the federal Clean Water Act.

Gas production in the region has declined dramatically in recent years due to falling prices.

But Montana rancher Mark Fix said Thursday that he continues to see high salt levels in the Tongue River during the annual spring runoff due to past drilling.

In related news, EPA protecting refuge from air pollution.

This article was written by Matthew Brown from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.