Mountain Water Company is no longer owned by Park Water, at least that is the message that was sent to the Montana Public Service Commission this morning, January 11.

The message was a surprise to PSC commissioners and may result in a legal challenge from the PSC itself. PSC spokesman Eric Sell called the move 'unprecedented." Liberty Utilities purchased Park Water, including water systems in California and Missoula for $327 Million dollars last Friday, January 8.

"Liberty Utilities informed us this morning that they went ahead and purchased Park Water, which includes Mountain Water, without the PSC's approval," Sell said. "It is completely unprecedented in the State of Montana for a company to purchase without PSC approval, we are very surprised by Liberty's actions and we are trying to decide how to proceed. "

The PSC was still trying to decide how to proceed, but Sell said a lawsuit was definitely possible. The PSC was actually scheduled to review the transfer of ownership this month.

"It is certainly an option that we could go to court over this issue and assert our jurisdiction because it is certainly within our jurisdiction, because it is certainly within the PSC's purview by law to oversee these types of actions," Sell said.

The city of Missoula is currently trying to acquire the water system that had been run by Mountain Water Company under the authority of Park Water. How this transfer of ownership will impact Missoula's court case, and how the State of Montana will respond is yet to be seen.