Back in 2009, a collaboration between the University of Montana Law School and Journalism School led to wall-to-wall coverage of the Grace case, a historic environmental legal battle that charged W.R. Grace with conspiring to risk the lives of the residents of Libby, Montana. The project, which featured hard news reporting as well as legal analysis, garnered national and local attention up until Grace's eventual acquittal.
Now, a similar collaboration has turned its focus to the potential sale of Mountain Water Company to the Carlyle Group. The new site, titled "Global Control of Local Water: The Carlyle Group in Missoula, Montana," aims to "create an objective resource of information for the community regarding this important natural resource question — who should own municipal water?"
The site currently covers the basics — key players, timeline, news and resources — but expects to add more content as the semester, and the sale, proceeds. Starting this week, students will begin to address legal issues before Montana's Public Service Commission, including "The City of Missoula’s History of Litigation with Mountain Water," "PSC Authority to Demand Certain Documents of the Carlyle Group" and "Whether the Clark Fork Coalition Can File as an Intervenor in the Sale."
The PSC has set a Sept. 26 public hearing in Missoula to take public comment on the issue.