A housing subdivision north of Manhattan in the Gallatin Valley

A residential subdivision north of Manhattan in the Gallatin Valley in April.

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The Montana Department of Environmental Quality will allow cities to review certain water and sewer expansions in an effort to expedite permitting.

Gov. Greg Gianforte and DEQ director Chris Dorrington announced the change this week, describing it as an effort to cut red tape and streamline review processes amid record subdivision applications. Dorrington was recently appointed to the governor’s new affordable housing task force, charged with making recommendations on executive action and legislation to address the state’s affordable housing crisis.

Under the change, cities may complete a contract allowing city engineers to complete certain public water supply plan approvals. The contracts delegate the state’s authority to cover review of waste water and sewer system extensions of 50 or fewer connections.

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{span}Tom Kuglin is the deputy editor for the Lee Newspapers State Bureau. His coverage focuses on outdoors, recreation and natural resources.{/span}

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