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EPA to hold five public meetings in Idaho focusing on IDEQ seeking water quality permitting program

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Thursday, September 7, 2017

In 2014, the Idaho Legislature revised Idaho Code to direct the Idaho Department of Environmental Qualilty (DEQ) to seek U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authorization for a state-operated pollutant discharge elimination system permitting program. The current program is operated by EPA and called the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program. The state program will be called the Idaho Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (IPDES) program.  This permit program is a key part of the federal Clean Water Act's water pollution control by regulating sources that discharge pollutants to waters in the United States. 

The EPA is accepting public comments on the State of Idaho’s application to assume the role of writing, administering and enforcing water quality discharge permits in the state until October 10th.  Between September 11th and September 15th the EPA will hold five public meetings, immediately followed by five public hearings in the following Idaho cities (all times are local times):

September 11, 2017 - Idaho Falls
Central Public Library
457 W. Broadway, Idaho Falls, ID 83402
Informational meeting from 4-5:30 pm. Public hearing/testimony begins at 6 pm until complete.

September 12, 2017 - Twin Falls
Twin Falls Public Library
201 Fourth Ave. East, Twin Falls, ID 83301
Informational meeting from 4-5:30 pm. Public hearing/testimony begins at 6 pm until complete.

September 13, 2017 - Boise
Boise Public Library
715 S Capitol Blvd., Boise, ID 83702
Informational meeting from 4-5:30pm. Public hearing/testimony begins at 6pm until complete.

September 14, 2017 - Lewiston
Lewiston Community Center (Lewiston Parks and Recreation)
1424 Main St., Lewiston, ID 83501
Informational meeting from 4-5:30 pm. Public hearing/testimony begins at 6 pm until complete.

September 15, 2017 - Coeur d'Alene
Coeur d'Alene Public Library
702 E Front Ave., Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
Informational meeting from 2-3:30 pm. Public hearing/testimony begins at 4 pm until complete.

It is AIC’s expectation that the IPDES program will protect the environment, incorporate affordable water quality improvements, and coordinate with the drinking water program to provide universal access to water, waste/reclaimed water, and drainage/stormwater services in support of economic development in Idaho.  AIC has identified a number of opportunities as the IPDES program is developed and implemented.  These opportunities fall into three general categories

  1. Effluent limit considerations that provide regulatory flexibility for increased affordability and innovation;       
  2. An Idaho Financial Capability Analysis or guidance to address the combined Idaho city responsibilities for the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and drainage/stormwater programs; and,
  3. Memorandum of Agreement and future Performance Partnership Agreement terms that help the State and Idaho cities comply with regulations within affordable time lines and avoid premature enforcement actions.  





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