Montana Department of Justice
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In December 2011, Governor Schweitzer approved a  Final Upper Clark Fork River Basin Long Range Priorities and Fund Allocation Guidance Plan that allocated about $110 million in natural resource damage settlement funds for the restoration of groundwater, aquatic, and terrestrial resources in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin (UCFRB).  That approval triggered the development of a Final Upper Clark Fork River Basin Interim Restoration Process Plan that describes the process the State of Montana used to develop restoration plans and fund restoration projects in the UCFRB using these allocated funds.  This Process Plan is also summarized in a Fact Sheet issued May 2012.  Pursuant to this Process Plan, the State finalized the groundwater, aquatic, and terrestrial restoration plans at the end of 2012.

SUMMARY OF 2012 RESTORATION PROCESS

The Governor makes all final decisions on all restoration plans and associated funding.  Prior to a final decision, draft restoration plans are subject of a 30-day public comment period.  In addition to public comment, the Governor considers recommendations from the Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP), the UCFRB Advisory Council, and the Trustee Restoration Council.

Aquatic and Terrestrial Restoration PlansSection 5 of Process Plan:

 An estimated $65.5 million is initially available for funding of projects that will improve aquatic and terrestrial resources, respectively, and related public recreational services.  In September 2012, the State produced draft aquatic and terrestrial plans.  These draft plans, which were developed in consultation with fish and wildlife biologists, were subsequently the subject of public comment and consideration of the Advisory Council and Trustee Restoration Council prior to final approval by the Governor in January 2013.

To assist with the development of restoration alternatives for these draft restoration plans, the State solicited restoration concept proposals from the public, in recognition of the wealth of knowledge and relationships that other entities can bring to the restoration planning process.  Through this solicitation process, which was first introduced in a February 2012 draft version of the Process Plan, the State requested that interested individuals and entities submit abstracts outlining their ideas for projects that would protect or enhance fishery or wildlife resources in Priority 1 and 2 areas or in the aquatic and terrestrial injured resource areas for which the State made restoration claims, or enhance recreational services associated with these resources, such as fishing, floating, hunting, wildlife viewing, and hiking.   The State received 80 (see below)  restoration concept abstracts by the June 15, 2012 deadline.  In most cases, those proposals submitted by the public that fit with the State’s guidance in the 2012 Process Plan on encouraged types of projects were incorporated, either partially or fully, into the State’s proposed restoration actions covered in this document.

 Abstracts of the 80 public proposals submitted (or a  Summary Table ) are available for download or upon request from NRDP.  Presentations of these abstracts done at the August 1, 2012 and August 8, 2012 Advisory Council meetings are also available.

The restoration plans describe how and when the proposed restoration actions will be implemented or further developed and what additional review and approval steps, if any, are needed.  Some actions will be developed and implemented by the State and other actions will be developed and implemented by other entities in partnership with the State in a manner consistent with State procurement requirements.

The State will review and revise the 2012 Aquatic and Terrestrial Restoration Plans two years after the Governor’s approval, with the timing of subsequent revisions to be determined later.  These revisions will also involve additional solicitations from the public of restoration concept proposals for potential inclusion in revised restoration plans.

The following describes the process and schedule the State of Montana will use to update and revise the Final Upper Clark Fork River Basin Aquatic and Terrestrial Resources Restoration Plans, (2012 Restoration Plans).  The 2015 Restoration Plans Update (2015 Update), which will be an addendum to the 2012 Restoration Plans, is based on the natural resource damage (NRD) provisions in state and federal superfund law and the requirements of the Final Upper Clark Fork River Basin Interim Restoration Process Plan, May 2012, (2012 Process Plan) and the 2012 Restoration Plans approved by Governor Schweitzer in May 2012 and January 2013, respectively.

The 2012 Process Plan and the 2012 Restoration Plans state that not all of the aquatic or terrestrial restoration actions will be known at the time of the 2012 Restoration Plans development and provide that those plans are to be reviewed, updated and revised two years after the Governor’s approval.  The 2012 Restoration Plans, Section 6.0, also indicates the updates to the restoration plans will include a public solicitation of additional conceptual restoration proposals.  The 2012 Process Plan at Section 5.4 describes the process for the review and approval of the updates and revisions to the 2012 Restoration Plans.

Since the Governor’s approval of the 2012 Restoration Plans, the State along with its partners have worked on implementing key elements of these plans.  See UCFRB Restoration Fund Quarterly Project Report, January 2015 for the most up to date summary of activities and documents that have been prepared to implement and prioritize the restoration actions outlined in the plans.  The State proposes to continue the implementation of these restoration actions, which have already been prioritized, and integrate eligible, new restoration action concepts with these actions.  In addition, the State proposes several edits/modifications to the 2012 Restoration Plans that the State believes are necessary clarifications and will improve projects implementation.  These modifications along with any other changes will be compiled and subject to a 30 day public comment period.

The State does not propose any changes to the fundamental structure of the 2012 Restoration Plans (allocations or priority areas) and proposes to work within the existing budget amounts for all the resource areas shown in Table 6-1 of the 2012 Restoration Plans.  The 2015 Update is only for the aquatic and terrestrial restoration resources; the groundwater resources are addressed in restoration plans approved by the Governor for Butte Silver Bow and Anaconda Deer Lodge counties and are not subject to the revision previsions of the 2012 Process Plan or the 2012 Restoration Plans.  The State proposes that new recreation-dominant projects, such as those listed in Section 5 of the 2012 Restoration Plans not be eligible for funding, as all recreation-dominant funding was previously allocated to the listed projects.

Process for Public Solicitation

The process for the 2015 Update of 2012 Restoration Plans is specific to aquatic and terrestrial resource priority areas within the Upper Clark Fork River Basin (UCFRB); Section 5 of the 2012 Process Plan describes this process.  Sections 5.1 and 5.2 of the 2012 Process Plan identify the fund allocations and project location restrictions specific to these priority areas, respectively.  Section 5.3 describes the plan development process, including the public solicitation of restoration action concepts.  Additional guidance is provided in Section 5.3 on the types of aquatic and terrestrial restoration projects to be included in the restoration plans.

As recognized in the development of the 2012 Restoration Plans, there is a wealth of knowledge and relationships that other entities can bring to the restoration planning process.  As part of the 2015 Update, the State will once again be soliciting from the public, including governmental entities, restoration action concepts that would coordinate or integrate with the 2012 Restoration Plans planning, project implementation, or prioritization as well as protect or enhance fishery or wildlife resources in Priority 1 and 2 areas or in the aquatic and terrestrial injured resource areas for which the State made restoration claims.  Restoration action concepts may include the identification of partners whose assistance and cooperation may be helpful or necessary during implementation of a restoration alternative.  Projects included in the 2012 Restoration Plans do not need to re-submit their abstracts.

Integration of Additional Restoration Proposals into the 2012 Restoration Plans

The State will carefully consider incorporating these restoration action concepts submitted by the public, along with State-generated restoration action concepts, in the 2015 Update.  Using the legal and policy criteria specified in Section 6 of the 2012 Process Plan and the recent work completed with the implementation of the 2012 Restoration Plans (see list of documents below), the State will evaluate all proposals to determine what actions to include in the 2015 Update. In addition, some, but not all components of a restoration action concept could be included.  This criteria analysis will meet the substantive requirements of the federal NRD law and regulations.  The State may enlist consultant assistance in preparing the 2015 Update, including cost estimates. The Draft 2015 Update will also include a summary of all the restoration action concepts submitted as part of this solicitation and indicate why proposals were not included.

Below are documents that may assist applicants in preparing the required abstract:

Guidance Documents: 

Restoration Project Examples:

Guidance for Aquatic and Terrestrial Restoration in Priority 1 and 2 Areas

Whether a project proposal effectuates the restoration goals specified in the 2011 Aquatic and Terrestrial Prioritization Plans  will be a major factor in the State’s decisions about what projects are included in the 2015 Update for further development and implementation.  Attachments 5-2 and 5-3 of the 2012 Process Plan provide additional guidance about the types of aquatic and terrestrial restoration projects, respectively, that are most likely to cost-effectively address restoration needs in priority areas.

The identification of priority areas to focus future restoration efforts in the UCFRB has and will continue to greatly contribute to meeting restoration goals and obtaining the greatest resource benefit from the dollars spent.  Both aquatic and terrestrial prioritization documents emphasize, however, that identifying areas to focus fishery and wildlife protection and enhancement efforts does not constitute any predetermination of the merits of funding a particular project.  A proposed project in a priority area may or may not be a worthwhile funding prospect, depending on whether it appropriately and cost-effectively addresses the factors that adversely affect or limit the aquatic or terrestrial resources in that particular area.

Review and Approval Processes and Public Participation

Similar to the 2012 Restoration Plans, the 2015 Update will be produced pursuant to the 2012 Process Plan and generally be subject of the same review and approval steps that were previously used.  The 2015 Update will be subject of a public comment period of at least 30 days and consideration by the Upper Clark Fork River Basin Advisory Council (Advisory Council) and the Trustee Restoration Council (TRC).  Following consideration of public input and the recommendations of these two councils, the Governor will make the final decision on the 2015 Update to the 2012 Restoration Plans.

This review and approval process provides multiple opportunities for meaningful public participation.  The public has the opportunity to provide public comments on the draft revisions during the designated comment period, and also at the meetings of the Advisory Council and TRC at which these revisions are considered.  Input from the Advisory Council also serves as an avenue of public input.  Opportunity for public input will also occur prior to issuance of the 2015 Update through the State’s planned public solicitation of aquatic and terrestrial restoration action concepts.

Future Restoration Plan Revisions and Updates

The State proposes that the AC, TRC, and Governor consider whether or not another revision is necessary two years after the Governor’s approval of this 2015 Update. The 2012 Restoration Plans took several months to establish contracts and the required administrative tasks necessary to initiate work.  The State and its partners are currently in the process of implementing many of the restoration actions included in the 2012 Restoration Plans.  A review after two years is proposed based on the status of implementation of these restoration actions. The frequency of later reviews/revisions can be addressed in subsequent plans.  The revisions to the restoration plans could include a public solicitation of conceptual restoration proposals.

Background on Prioritization

In 2008, the State of Montana concluded its 25-year natural resource damage litigation against ARCO for injuries to the natural resources in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin (UCFRB). These injuries were caused by the release of hazardous substances from historic mining and mineral processing operations in the Basin.

The litigation resulted in three settlements covered by court-approved consent decrees that provided a total of about $231 million in natural resource damages to restore the Basin’s natural resources.

  • About half of these damages are earmarked for restoration of specific injured areas.
  • The other half can be used to restore or replace injured natural resources and lost services throughout the Basin.

For more background on these settlements, see Lawsuit History and Settlements.

In conjunction with the completion of litigation, the State conducted assessments of the fishery and wildlife habitat and populations in the UCFRB that can be used to prioritize restoration of these resources. The following assessment documents and study plans are associated with this prioritization effort:

The State used the results of these assessments to produce draft aquatic and terrestrial resource prioritization plans in 2010 that were subject of public comment and finalized in December 2011.  The priority areas identified in these two prioritization plans will be the focus of future restoration efforts, pursuant to a fund allocation guidance plan approved by the Governor in December 2011 and an interim restoration process plan drafted in February 2012.  Following are links to these four documents.

Restoration Planning Guidance

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Attorney General's Office & Legal Services Division

The Attorney General’s Office, headed by Attorney General Tim Fox, and the Legal Services Division function as the lawyers for the State of Montana. The attorneys in the Office have expertise in a wide range of legal topics and handle a broad range of legal cases involving the State of Montana and its people.

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Children’s Justice Bureau

The Children’s Justice Bureau is an agency-wide initiative at the Montana Department of Justice dedicated to IMPROVING how we respond to child victims, DEVELOPING state-of-the-art approaches by keeping up with the newest research and, most importantly, HELPING child victims recover and move on with their lives.

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Forensic Science Division & State Crime Lab

The mission of the Montana Forensic Science Division is to use operationally efficient and financially responsible practices as the laboratory provides accurate, objective, and timely forensic analyses to the criminal justice community in order to maximize value to the citizens of Montana.

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Missing Persons Clearinghouse

The Missing Children Act of 1985 established a Montana Missing Persons Clearinghouse within the Department of Justice. In March 2008, the department implemented a searchable online database that, for the first time, is updated in real time and includes any photos provided by law enforcement.

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Office of Victim Services

The goal of the Office of Victim Services is to provide tools and information to help crime victims recover from their experience and provide them with a range of services available. The criminal justice system can be confusing and intimidating for victims. To assist them as they go through the justice system, the Office of Victim Service is available to answer any questions they may have.

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Central Services Division

The Montana Department of Justice’s Central Services Division provides financial and human resources support for the department. We make sure that everything works for the people Working for Justice. If you’re interested in a rewarding career helping protect the rights and safety of all Montanans, we invite you to join our team of over 800 dedicated employees working across the state.

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Justice Information Technology Services Division

Our Justice Information Technology Services Division (JITSD) provides vital Information Technology (IT) infrastructure upon which Montanans and local and state law enforcement agencies rely for timely, accurate information. JITSD manages the IT systems, services, and interfaces to support nearly 800 DOJ employees, 325 statewide county motor vehicle system users, and over 3,000 Criminal Justice Information Network (CJIN) users across the state.

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Division of Criminal Investigation

The Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) at the Montana Department of Justice is involved in many aspects of Montana law enforcement and is integral to the Department of Justice’s mission of promoting public safety.

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Montana Highway Patrol

Montana is rich in natural beauty and history. From Glacier Park in the west to Makoshika Park in the east, the men and women of the Montana Highway Patrol are working hard to make your travels safe and enjoyable. The Highway Patrol’s core values are “Service, Integrity and Respect.” These values are reflected in our commitment to public safety through diligent and fair enforcement of our traffic codes.

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Montana Law Enforcement Academy

The Montana Law Enforcement Academy is the premier law enforcement and public safety educational and training institution for state, county, city and tribal officers throughout the state. The Academy offers entry-level programs referred to as Basic Programs and advanced training through an array of Professional Development Programs.

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Public Safety Officer Standards & Training

The Council was formed in 2007 under 2-15-2029, MCA as an independent Quasi-judicial board. And as allowed by statute the Council adopted Administrative Rules in order to implement the provisions of Title 44, chapter 4, part 4, MCA. Per 44-4-403, MCA the Council is required to set employment and training standards for all Public Safety Officers as defined in 44-4-401, MCA and in addition the Council shall provide for the certification or recertification of public safety officers and for the suspension or revocation of certification of public safety officers.

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Motor Vehicle Division

The mission of the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) is to identify and promote efficient, cost-effective programs that benefit the interests, safety, and well-being of Montana citizens through licensing, registering, and regulating the motoring activities of the public. The MVD continuously strives for excellence in customer service. Streamlining the way we do business has allowed us to improve our efficiency and make our services more convenient for our customers.

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Natural Resource Damage Program

The Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP) was created in 1990 to prepare the state’s lawsuit against the Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARCO) for injuries to the natural resources in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin (UCFRB). Decades of mining and mineral processing operations in and around Butte and Anaconda released substantial quantities of hazardous substances into the Upper Clark Fork River Basin between Butte and Milltown. These hazardous substances extensively degraded the area’s natural resources.

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Office of Consumer Protection

Enforce consumer laws designed to protect the consumer from unfair or deceptive business practices. Enforce statutes relating to telephone solicitation and telemarketing. Provide information to consumers about the Consumer Protection Act. Assist consumers by distributing consumer education materials including scam and consumer alerts. Investigate false, misleading, or deceptive trade practices.

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Gambling Control Division

Through the Gambling Control Division, the Department of Justice regulates all forms of gambling in Montana, except for the Montana Lottery and horse racing. The legislature has charged the division with maintaining a uniform regulatory climate that is fair and free of corrupt influences. The division is also responsible for collecting gambling revenue for state and local governments.

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Human Trafficking

The Montana Department of Justice has a continued commitment to victims of human trafficking. In partnership with federal authorities, our agency plays a key role in the investigation, enforcement, and prosecution of crimes related to human trafficking in Montana. This form of modern day slavery does happen here in Big Sky Country.

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Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Program

Montana’s deadliest drugs aren’t made in secret labs and they don’t always come from dealers on the corner. They’re in our own medicine cabinets. Each year, prescription drug abuse contributes to the deaths of more than 300 Montanans — making prescription drug abuse 15 times more deadly than meth, heroin and cocaine combined. Our kids report the third-highest rate of prescription drug abuse in the country and more than half of them say prescription drugs are easier to get than street drugs.

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Safe in Your Space

When it comes to embracing new technology, kids have rapidly outpaced their parents and teachers. By their early school years, many children are already more comfortable on the Internet than their parents. But just because children are smart enough to know how to navigate the Internet, doesn’t mean they have the experience to make good decisions about some of the possibilities they may face online.

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Montana Sexual or Violent Offender Registry

Created by the Montana Department of Justice in 1989, the Sexual or Violent Offender Registry is a valuable resource for Montanans to protect their families against sexual or violent offenders.

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Montana 24/7 Sobriety Program

Drinking and driving has been a chronic – and deadly — problem on Montana’s roadways for decades. In 2008, Montana was ranked as the deadliest state in the nation when it came to per capita DUI-related traffic fatalities.

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Work for Justice

Everyday at The Montana Department of Justice, our employees are dedicated to ensuring the well-being and rights of the people of our great state. We’re passionate about what we do because it’s more than a job or a career. It’s about who we are as people. If this sounds like you, your unique experiences, knowledge, and values may be just what the Montana Department of Justice is looking for and needs. In return we can offer a culture that promotes fairness and growth opportunities.

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