Billings, MT – An energy development firm and a conservation group say they've reached an agreement to avoid a lawsuit over coal-bed methane drilling in southern Montana. Fidelity Exploration and Production Company and the Northern Plains Resource Council announced the agreement this week. In part, it calls for improved water quality monitoring over five years on the Tongue River. The two sides say Fidelity also agreed to stop discharging coal-bed methane wastewater in several holding ponds. A judge must still sign off on the agreement.