CRESTON - A battle in the courts that began back in 2016 over a water bottling company in the Flathead is finally over.
A recent Montana Supreme Court decision has upheld a lower court ruling that the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) erred when it granted the water right to Montana Artesian Water Company in Creston.
The DNRC issued a permit in 2015, allowing the company to produce roughly 1.2 billion, 20-ounce water bottles annually. The Water for Flathead’s Future and the Flathead Lakers filed the initial lawsuit opposing the decision.
“In conclusion, errors of law were committed during the agency’s processing of the application, including the failure to submit all the required data, and a failure to fulfill the agency’s duty to identify and analyze all potentially affected sources,” the Montana State Supreme Court stated in its opinion.