HELENA – The Montana Senate has endorsed a bill that would bar a state agency from investigating anonymous tips of environmental violations.
Senate Bill 262 would require people to identify themselves when reporting violations to the state Department of Environmental Quality.
Republican Sen. John Brenden of Scobey amended his bill to allow employees to withhold their names when they blow the whistle on their own companies’ violations.
Brenden says the measure is designed to encourage transparent reporting.
Opponents criticized the bill’s focus on the DEQ and argued the measure would limit the number of people reporting environmental violations.
The bill passed an initial vote Monday 29-21. It will have to pass a final vote before moving on to the House.