spwm montanadnrcA district court judge in Montana ruled that the state issued a water use permit in error when it “failed to meet its own minimum standards” for aquifer testing.

In ruling the state permit invalid, Judge Kathy Seeley of the Lewis and Clark County District Court, said the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation admitted the applicant, a water bottling company in Kalispell, did not include the aquifer test as required under revisions to Montana regulations passed in 2012.

“Without analysis of the minimum information and data, including the mandated aquifer testing, the decision to grant a permit missed a critical foundational step,” said the judge.

A company spokesman told a local newspaper it had not decided whether to appeal the ruling but that it would complete the aquifer testing form “in its entirety.”