Permit Information

Stream Alteration Permit (310 Permit):  Required under the Montana Natural Streambed and Land Preservation Act.  These are the most common permits issued by local Conservation Districts for activities impacting streams including: installation of any material on a streambank (i.e. rip rap, fencing to stabilize slope), temporary stream crossings during low flow periods, irrigation diversion structures, bridges etc.  The person initiating the project must complete a permit application available at all conservation district offices prior to beginning any activity, and approval is required.

Dredge and Fill Permit (404 Permit):  Required under the Federal Clean Water Act.  Projects that include construction, road building and maintenance, culvert installation, stream modification, large vehicle crossing on or near a stream, or any activity that may contribute a “significant” amount of sediment, dredging or fill material to a waterbody or wetland.  This permit is issued and reviewed by the US Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA.  Permit information and assistance is available at all conservation districts.

Montana Water Right Permit:  Required under the Montana Water Use Act. Any person, agency, or governmental entity intending to acquire new or additional water rights, or to change an existing water right, must obtain a water permit.  This applies to any surface water appropriation, and groundwater appropriation over 35 gallons per minute or 10 acre-feet per year.  Water right applications are available at county clerk and recorders’ offices, and all eight Water Resources Regional Offices of the DNRC in most major Montana towns and cities.  Western Montana river and lake basins are closed to new water rights/use permits.

Floodplain Development Permit:  Required under the Montana Floodplain and Floodway Management Act.  Anyone planning new construction, the placement of fill, roads, bridges, irrigation structures, homes or additions within a designated 100-year floodplain must obtain a permit from the Floodplain Management section of the DNRC.  Contact a local floodplain administrator (in most county planning offices) within the county or the DNRC in Helena prior to initiating the project.

Septic System Permit:  Required under county septic system regulations.  Any person intending to construct, alter, extend, or operate a sewage treatment and disposal system must obtain a permit from the county.  Conventional systems must be 100 feet from the 100-year floodplain, and 6 feet above groundwater (Montana Association of Conservation Districts 1997).  Contact the sanitarian of the county wherein the project is to occur before beginning installation.

Other Permits:  The DEQ must be contacted before mining or dam construction activities are initiated below the high water mark on any lake or stream in Montana.  Also, the DEQ must be contacted before any liquid or solid is discharged into any surface or ground waterbody, or for any temporary violation of Montana Surface Water Standards.

Table courtesy of Neysa King