Montana Environmental Information Center

Montana Environmental Information Center is a statewide advocacy organization founded in 1973 to protect and restore Montana's natural environment. Based in the state capital, MEIC works in the executive, legislative and judicial realms to promote strong environmental policies. MEIC also collaborates with a wide variety of state, regional and national environmental groups, and with new voices for environmental protection, including business, farming, labor, tribal, education, religious and public health interests. The organization has approximately 3,500 members.

Montana Environmental Information Center has been a Brainerd Foundation grantee since 2000.

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Montana Environmental Information Center Photo gallery

The Dearborn River in the Scapegoat Wilderness, part of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. Photo courtesy of Sara Marino, MEIC.

Fall on the Gallatin River, in Yellowstone National Park, Montana. Photo courtesy of Amy Kelley, MEIC.

Windmills at the Judith Gap wind farm in central Montana, which produces about 8% of the total power used by Northwest Energy. Photo courtesy of Montana Environmental Information Center.

Sunset at Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Montana. Photo courtesy of Sara Marino, MEIC.

Montana Environmental Information Center Grant history

2015

$100,000 - A two year grant to protect and restore Montana’s natural environment. Conservation policy

2013

$95,000 - A two-year grant to protect and restore Montana's natural environment. Conservation policy

2012

$2,000 - To hire a consultant and natural resources economist to analyze an economic impact study. Opportunity fund

2011

$90,000 - A two-year grant to protect and restore Montana's natural environment. Conservation policy

2010

$45,000 - To protect and restore Montana's natural environment. Conservation policy

2009

$80,000 - To protect and restore Montana's natural environment. Conservation policy

2008

$40,000 - To protect and restore Montana's natural environment. Conservation policy

2008

$49,000 - To increase organizational capacity and effectiveness. Conservation capacity

2007

$60,000 - For general support to promote progress in environmental policy at the state level. Conservation policy

2006

$25,000 - To strengthen protections of Montana's air, land and water. Place-based conservation

2005

$40,000 - For general support, with a program emphasis on mining reform and energy development and for a technology upgrade for member communications. Place-based conservation

2004

$20,000 - For general support, with an emphasis on mining reform and energy development. Place-based conservation

2003

$20,000 - For general support to sustain a mining reform campaign within Montana and protection of the Yellowstone to Yukon Ecoregion. Place-based conservation

2001

$20,000 - To provide a technical upgrade of computer equipment and concurrent staff training. Conservation capacity

2000

$40,000 - To consolidate and defend gains in seeking reform of hardrock mining in Montana. Place-based conservation

Montana Environmental Information Center Successes

A precedent-setting ruling for the Bitterroot River

A precedent-setting ruling for the Bitterroot River

In a win for Montana taxpayers, a district court judge has ruled that a rural wastewater discharge permit awarded to a developer was issued illegally. The permit would have set a precedent allowing lower water quality standards for on-site wastewater disposal systems in rural subdivisions not on a municipal wastewater system. This would have created an economic incentive for rural sprawl development and would leave taxpayers to pay for clean-up.

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Coal-burning plant to shut down 2 units and clean up pollution

Coal-burning plant to shut down 2 units and clean up pollution

Decades after water contamination problems first started at the Colstrip coal-fired power plant, a court agreement between conservation groups and the facility’s owners will result in far safer disposal of millions of tons of toxic coal ash waste generated by burning coal at the plant. The waste byproduct of burning coal, coal ash contains several known carcinogens and neurotoxins.

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Proposed Montana coal mine plans abandoned

Proposed Montana coal mine plans abandoned

A big coal company has suspended its permit application with the state of Montana for a $600 million coal mine in southeastern Montana. Otter Creek Coal Mine was proposed in 2012 and would have produced about 20 million tons of coal annually over 20 years, according to the state Department of Environmental Quality. The coal company, Arch Coal, filed for bankruptcy in January of 2016.

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Montana coal-burning power plant closes

Conservationists recently celebrated the closure of the Corette coal burning power plant in Montana, after legal battles that spanned three decades. The 2015 decision to close the plant was ultimately due in part to the 47-year-old plant's inability to meet new mercury pollution standards. Coal power now accounts for just 26 percent of the operating utility's energy supply, down from 48 percent.

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