From the Missoulian . . .
An agreement on how to clean up western Montana’s rivers takes a big-picture look at a problem that’s been in the courts since 1997.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Montana Department of Environmental Quality settled with the Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Friends of the Wild Swan to look at whole watersheds instead of individual rivers and streams when trying to meet federal Clean Water Act standards.
The agreement requires plans for cleaning 664 pollutants in 28 watersheds be in place by 2014. The clean-up efforts must improve habitat for bull trout and other native fish in the Clark Fork, Flathead, Blackfoot, Bitterroot and Kootenai rivers in Montana.