Montana Tech Hosting PNWIS Conference


The 59th annual conference of the Air and Waste Management Association’s Pacific Northwest International Section (PNWIS) will be held October 23 – 25, 2019 at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. The theme of the conference is, “Natural Resources Industries and Environmental Stewardship,” and will include a variety of air-related topics ranging from air quality, to current and proposed changes in regulations, to case studies and monitoring, to emission control and estimations. In addition, a large focus will be given to water treatment technologies, mining, and waste management.

Over 150 experts in environmental science and engineering are expected to attend the event. There is also a student competition (Environmental Challenge) on a designated subject matter related to a local scenario. Prize monies will be awarded to the winners of the Environmental Challenge, as well as to the student who delivers the best technical paper presentation. The PNWIS organization is comprised of scientists and engineers from Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, British Columbia, Canada and BC Yukon, Canada. The president of A&WMA will be speaking at the conference along with the Chair of PNWIS Organization.

Butte Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Stephanie Sorini, will welcome attendees to the event at 10:00 am on October 23, followed by a keynote address by Montana Lt. Governor Mike Cooney, and a technical keynote by Seth Gering of Hexagon from Denver. The remainder of the conference will offer several additional keynotes, including a lunchtime presentation on Wednesday by Steve Thompson, Director of NCAT focusing on Global Climate Change and Resilience. Pedro Marques, Executive Director of Big Hole Watershed Committee, will deliver a special presentation on Wednesday afternoon.

On Thursday morning, Dr. Manish Kumar from the University of Texas Austin and Dr. Katherine Zodrow from Montana Tech will address historic and futuristic water treatment technologies, especially the advancement in membrane technologies. Both the speakers are involved in leading-edge research in membrane technology.

On Friday morning, Eric Jacobson, Senior Vice President of Operations with Extraction Oil and Gas, will jump start the day with a keynote address on environmental stewardship of oil and gas operations. In addition to the numerous keynote speakers, there will be four parallel sessions offered on air quality and sustainability; water and wastewater technology; mining and waste management; and policy and regulation.

Over 100 technical papers will be presented throughout the three-day conference. The conference will wrap up with a mine tour for registered participants hosted by Montana Resources on Friday afternoon.

This event is sponsored by several local and out-of-state sponsors, as well as Montana Tech. Dr. Kumar Ganesan of Montana Tech, supported by several members of his planning committee, was instrumental in bringing the conference to Butte, Montana, for the first time. If you are interested in registering for the event, please contact Susie Anderson at or 406-496-4311 or Kumar Ganesan at or 406-496-4239. To view a detailed program schedule, please visit