Executive Order 06-04
State of Montana
Office of the Governor
Executive Order Continuing the Upper Clark Fork River Basin Remediation and Restoration Education Advisory Council
WHEREAS, the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, as amended (CERCLA) and the Montana Comprehensive Environmental Cleanup and Responsibility Act (CECRA) allow states as trustees for natural resources to recover monetary damages for injuries to natural resources caused by releases of hazardous substances; and
WHEREAS, in 1983 the State of Montana, pursuant to its role as trustee, filed suit in federal court against the Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) alleging that the company is liable for injury to the natural resources of the Upper Clark Fork River Basin; and
WHEREAS, the Governor acts as the trustee for the State=s natural resources and of any damages recovered to compensate the public for injuries to those resources as permitted under CERCLA; and
WHEREAS, in 1999 the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana approved a partial settlement of Montana v. ARCO that resulted in the State obtaining, among other awards, approximately $135 million in natural resource damages for some but not all of the State=s claims against ARCO; and
WHEREAS, local officials and citizens in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin desire the opportunity for input concerning how any monetary damages recovered by the State as a result of this lawsuit will be used and the opportunity to be informed regarding the State=s continuing natural resource damage litigation against ARCO; and
WHEREAS, CERCLA requires that natural resource damages be used only to restore, replace, or acquire the equivalent of the injured natural resources that are the subject of the litigation (42 U.S.C. 9607 (f)(1)); and
WHEREAS, in addition to the ongoing litigation involving the Upper Clark Fork River, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality works with the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency under cooperative agreements that provide funding to the State and define state and federal agency roles for directing the remediation of various operable units within the Upper Clark Fork River Basin National Priority List sites, as authorized under CERCLA; and
WHEREAS, as a result of these interests of the public and State in natural resource damage and remediation issues, the first Upper Clark Fork River Basin Remediation and Restoration Education Advisory Council was created by executive order on April 23, 1998, and continued by subsequent executive orders.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JUDY MARTZ, Governor of the State of Montana, pursuant to the authority vested in me by the laws and Constitution of the State of Montana, do hereby continue the Upper Clark Fork River Basin Remediation and Restoration Education Advisory Council (hereinafter the ACouncil@) as provided in this Executive Order.
The purpose of the Council is to promote public understanding of the State=s efforts to remediate and restore sites in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin that have been injured by hazardous substances for which ARCO is liable. To that end the Council shall establish a procedure for the sharing of information with the public and the various interested agencies, including the State=s Natural Resource Damage and Superfund Programs.
Any advice provided to the Governor with respect to issues involving remediation and restoration efforts in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin, including the use of any funds that may be recovered from settlement or trial of litigation, shall be consistent with the requirement that such funds be used for restoration or replacement of the injured natural resources in accordance with a restoration plan prepared by the State of Montana as provided by law. Moreover, such advice will not be considered to the exclusion of input of other interested individuals or groups. The existence of the Council does not in any way diminish the powers of the Governor as trustee pursuant to CERCLA and CECRA. Nor is it intended to comment on the status of any pending litigation or related negotiations.
The Council will consist of up to 13 voting members and up to 4 non-voting members representing a diversity of interests and expertise related to remediation and restoration in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin, as follows:
- Citizen Voting Members. The Council will consist of citizen member(s), appointed by the Governor, who reside in Deer Lodge County, Granite County, Missoula County, Powell County and Silver Bow County (ACounties@), the counties which comprise the Upper Clark Fork River Basin. Each of the above Counties will have not less than one member and not more than three members appointed to the Council.
- Federal and Tribal Government Voting Members. The Council will include a representative of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, designated by the Tribal Chair; and a representative of the United States Department of the Interior, designated by the Secretary of the Interior.
- State Government Non-Voting Members. The Council=s non-voting members will include:
- Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, or the Director=s designee;
- Director of the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, or the Director=s designee;
- Director of the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, or the Director=s designee; and
- Restoration Program Chief of the Natural Resource Damage Program or the Chief=s designee.
The Governor shall appoint a chair from among its members, and the Natural Resource Damage Program will provide technical and administrative support for the Council.
The names of the Council members will be submitted by separate letter to the Secretary of State.
This Executive Order is effective immediately and shall terminate on December 31, 2005, unless terminated earlier or extended by subsequent Executive Order.
GIVEN under my hand and the GREAT