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Top tags: City Officials' Day at the Capitol 

Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee to Consider New Construction Roll Bill

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, February 14, 2017

On Wednesday, February 15 at 3:00 p.m. the Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee will consider legislation that would impact the new construction roll for property tax levying purposes.  Cities that want to weigh in with comments or feedback should contact the committee members as soon as possible (see committee list below).

House Bill 83 is sponsored by Rep. Janet Trujillo, R-Idaho Falls.  The bill would provide that any reduction in taxable market value resulting from property that becomes exempt pursuant to chapters 6 and 45 of title 63, Idaho Code, in the five years immediately preceding the current tax year will be deducted from the new construction roll.  Properties that become exempt under the following Idaho Code sections would not be required to be deducted from the new construction roll: 63-602G (Homeowner’s Exemption), 63-602L (intangible personal property), 63-602W(2)(certain business inventory), 63-602X (Casualty Loss), 63-602AA (exceptional situations) and 63-602KK (business personal property).  The bill would also require local governments to deduct from their property tax budget an amount equal to the levy of the previous year multiplied by the value deducted from the new construction roll for each of the three tax years preceding the current tax year.

Any cities that believe House Bill 83 would have a meaningful impact on their budget should communicate their thoughts or concerns to the Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee.  The committee members are listed below.

Sen. Dan G. Johnson, Lewiston, Chair:

Sen. Clifford R. Bayer, Meridian, Vice Chair:

Sen. Brent Hill, Rexburg:

Sen. Jeff C. Siddoway, Terreton:

Sen. Jim Rice, Caldwell:

Sen. Steve Vick, Dalton Gardens:

Sen. Jim L. Patrick, Twin Falls:

Sen. Grant Burgoyne, Boise:

Sen. Mark Nye, Pocatello:

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Contact House Transportation Committee to Support House Bill 158 on Surplus Eliminator Reauthorization

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, February 14, 2017

One of the most important bills of the session came last week from the House Transportation & Defense Committee, which voted to introduce House Bill 158 on reauthorizing the state surplus eliminator.

We strongly encourage city officials to contact members of the House Transportation & Defense Committee (see list below) to respectfully ask for their support of this critical piece of legislation.  Any specific examples you can share of damage your city suffered from this year’s severe winter weather will make your case even more compelling.

House Bill 158 is sponsored by Rep. Clark Kauffman, R-Filer and Rep. Rick Youngblood, R-Nampa.  The bill would extend the state surplus eliminator for two additional years, and provide that the revenue be split 60% to the Idaho Transportation Department and 40% to local highway jurisdictions. 

The state surplus eliminator is set to sunset this year and allocates half of state general fund surplus revenue to transportation projects for the Idaho Transportation Department.  None of the revenue from the surplus eliminator is currently shared with local highway jurisdictions. 

Under House Bill 158, the local highway jurisdictions’ share will be allocated in grants administered by the Local Highway Technical Assistance Council awarded based on return on investment in the following categories:

  • Safety, including reduction of crashes, injuries, and fatalities;
  • Mobility, including traffic-flow improvements for freight and passenger cars;
  • Economic opportunity, including projected cost-benefit ratio for users and businesses;
  • Repair and maintenance of bridges; and
  • Purchase of public rights of way.

House Bill 158 will allow cities, counties and highway districts to have an equitable share of surplus eliminator revenues at a time when local roads and bridges need considerable work because of severe winter storms and flooding. 

The grants awarded under House Bill 158 will fund projects that will save lives, help Idaho businesses, and repair critical bridges in our local highway system.

House Bill 158 addresses state and local transportation funding needs without increasing gas taxes or vehicle registration fees.

The transportation funding bill passed two years ago, added about $100 million of new revenue for state and local highway systems, which is considerably less than the $260 million annual transportation funding deficit for the state and local highway systems. 

Idaho cities have 2,600 centerline miles of city streets and 267 bridges to maintain. 

More investment in Idaho’s roads and bridges will create jobs and preserve our vital infrastructure.

You can contact members of the House Transportation & Defense Committee at the emails listed below.

Rep. Joe Palmer, Meridian, Chair:

Rep. Paul E. Shepherd, Riggins, Vice Chair:

Rep. Terry Gestrin, Donnelly:

Rep. Brandon A. Hixon, Caldwell:

Rep. Clark Kauffman, Filer:

Rep. Kelley Packer, McCammon:

Rep. Rick D. Youngblood, Nampa:

Rep. Patrick McDonald, Boise:

Rep. Sage G. Dixon, Ponderay:

Rep. Steven Harris, Meridian:

Rep. James Holtzclaw, Meridian:

Rep. Jason A. Monks, Nampa:

Rep. Gayann DeMordaunt, Eagle:

Rep. Scott Syme, Caldwell:

Rep. Phylis K. King, Boise:

Rep. Melissa Wintrow, Boise:

Rep. John Gannon, Boise:


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House Rev & Tax Committee Passes AIC-Opposed Foregone Bill

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, February 7, 2017

This morning the House Revenue & Taxation Committee approved AIC-opposed legislation that would restrict foregone levies for cities, counties and non-school taxing districts.  House Bill 103 will likely be up for floor debate and vote in the House later this week.

Since the mid-1990s, Idaho has had a 3% Cap on annual property tax increases that limits a local government’s property tax budget increases to 3% over the highest levy of the past three years, plus growth factors for new construction and annexation. 

If a local government chooses to levy less than the maximum amount permitted by law, then the foregone amounts accumulate and the local government can include these in their levy in subsequent years.

House Bill 103, sponsored by Rep. Mike Moyle, R-Star, would allow a local governing board to adopt a resolution to disclaim all or a portion of their foregone revenue. 

“This bill gives local governments the ability to control their own destiny,” said Moyle.  “If we truly believe in local control, we shouldn’t be afraid of this bill.”

The bill is drafted such that it’s not clear as to whether the resolution only applies to a single year’s foregone revenue or the local government’s accumulated foregone over decades.  Rep. Moyle indicated in his testimony that it is his intent that the resolution would only permit the governing board to forego their foregone revenue from a single year. 

Excellent testimony was provided by AIC President Brian Blad, Mayor of Pocatello and AIC Second Vice President Elaine Clegg, Council President of Boise.    

“Last year the Legislature made some significant changes to foregone levies that improved the process,” said Blad.  “Local governments were required to hold a public hearing and explain what the foregone levy would be used to fund.”  That law improved the transparency and accountability of foregone levies, “and it should be given the opportunity to work.” 

Elaine Clegg noted the fact that accumulated foregone levies total over $100 million is “real proof that the system is working.  Local elected officials are choosing to tax at a low rate and are proving they are fiscally responsible.”

Clegg explained that local elected officials often don’t know what the future holds and may not understand the implications of how their decision to reject foregone revenue might impact a community decades into the future. 

“The City of Meridian had a population of 3,000 in 1970.  Its population is over 90,000 today.  Growth of that magnitude requires a vastly different level of services.  Would the elected officials of Meridian in 1970 have foreseen this extremely high level of future growth?  Probably not.”  

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Urgent Action Request on HB 103

Posted By Justin Ruen, Monday, February 6, 2017

Tomorrow the House Revenue & Taxation Committee will consider a bill that would curtail local governments’ ability to use foregone property tax levies.  We urge city officials to contact their local legislators and respectfully ask for their opposition to House Bill 103.

House Bill 103 is sponsored by Rep. Mike Moyle, R-Star, and would allow the governing board of a taxing district to disclaim any or all of the entity’s accumulated foregone levies. 

When a city, county, or other taxing district levies less than the maximum amount permitted by law under the 3% Cap, the foregone amounts accumulate and the taxing district can include these foregone levies in their tax levy in any subsequent year. 

The concept of foregone levies has been around for decades, because it makes so much sense.  Idaho taxing districts have accumulated $108 million in foregone levies (2016), which represents substantial, ongoing property tax relief for Idaho taxpayers.  If the law restricts local governments’ ability to recover foregone levies, then it incentivizes levying the maximum allowed by law.

AIC opposes House Bill 103 because it puts at risk the prudent budgeting and taxing decisions that city officials have made over decades.  We should be rewarding local governments that budget conservatively, not looking to tie their hands with a short-sighted policy that increases the burdens on Idaho property taxpayers.

Last session, AIC supported legislation that improved the transparency of foregone levies for local governments.  House Bill 474 required that local governments provide notice before levying for foregone, including passing a resolution that identifies the amount of the foregone levy and the purpose for which the revenue will be used.  This legislation provides additional transparency for local governments levying for foregone.   

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House Local Government Committee Hears City Perspective

Posted By Justin Ruen, Wednesday, January 18, 2017

This afternoon the House Local Government Committee heard about the important roles that cities play in protecting public safety, building infrastructure necessary for economic development, and providing the cultural and recreational amenities that improve quality of life. 

AIC Executive Director Seth Grigg gave a presentation on the basics of city government, which discussed the unique role that cities play in Idaho’s system of local government.   Following this presentation, two Treasure Valley mayors—John Evans of Garden City and Joe Stear of Kuna—spoke about the issues facing their communities and their policy recommendations for the Legislature.

“Cities are created by their inhabitants to provide services necessary for an urban community,” Grigg said, “like law enforcement, fire protection, domestic water, sewage collection and treatment, streets, parks and libraries.”

“Idaho law encourages urban development to occur within cities, which ensures cost efficient delivery of urban services and protects agricultural and timber land from development,” Grigg noted. 

A recent survey of city officials found that the most important issue facing cities is infrastructure, which includes the challenge of replacing outdated infrastructure and escalating costs of compliance with the Clean Water Act and other federal environmental regulations.

“Cities greatly appreciate the Idaho Legislature’s decision to increase transportation funding and this revenue is definitely needed,” Grigg said.  If state surplus eliminator funding for transportation projects is reauthorized, Grigg suggested that it be shared with local highway jurisdictions, creating a fund for road and bridge projects that would allow smaller cities, counties and highway districts to pay for needed capital projects.

Mayor Joe Stear of Kuna said “local governments are working hard to cooperate and find collaborative solutions to local challenges.”  He cited the example of the Treasure Valley Partnership, which brings together mayors and county commissioners in a forum to encourage regional coordination, cooperation and collaboration. 

Stear also expressed support for state and local economic development incentives, like the Tax Reimbursement Incentive that provides a tax credit of up to 30 percent on income, payroll and sales taxes for up to 15 years for new or expanding companies.    

AIC Past President and Legislative Chair John Evans, Mayor of Garden City said, “Our goal in Garden City is to foster an environment where the private sector can come in and succeed.  Development doesn’t start above the ground, it starts below the ground with the essential water and sewer infrastructure that allows development to occur.” 

Evans said that the state Justice Reinvestment Initiative, which aimed to reduce corrections costs by reducing incarceration of nonviolent offenders and more efficiently getting offenders into parole, is putting police at risk as recently released offenders are committing violent crimes.  He suggested that policymakers look carefully at dedicating resources to more effectively monitoring and integrating recently released offenders. 



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City Officials Will Present to House Local Government Committee

Posted By Justin Ruen, Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Today at 1:30 p.m. Mountain Time the House Local Government Committee will hear a presentation on city government in Idaho featuring AIC Past President and Legislative Chair John Evans, Mayor of Garden City; Mayor Joe Stear of Kuna; and AIC Executive Director Seth Grigg.

You can listen to the committee meeting by clicking this link to the Idaho in Session website, scrolling down to "Committees/Locations" and selecting "Committees."  

Under "Choose a committee type" select "House."  

Under "Choose a committee" select "Local Government EW05."  

Finally click "Launch a media player."  

The media player works in Internet Explorer, so if you use Google Chrome for your web browser you will need to click "Try the Chrome/IOS device stream" on the media player.

The House Local Government Committee also has on its agenda for today the introduction of a housekeeping bill that will make corrections to last session's urban renewal reform bill.  

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AIC Solicits Feedback on Campaign Finance Legislation

Posted By Justin Ruen, Friday, January 13, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, January 17, 2017

In the wake of the failure of a statewide campaign finance reform initiative to get on the ballot last year, the Idaho Secretary of State’s office has drafted legislation that would strengthen penalties and make other important changes to Idaho’s Sunshine Law. 

Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney has asked for city officials to review and comment on the draft, which can be accessed via this link

Currently, campaign finance reporting is required for all candidates and political groups in cities over 5,000 population.  Last session, legislation was introduced that would have required reporting in cities of all sizes, but that proposal was defeated in the Senate State Affairs Committee.

The paradigm shift proposed by the Secretary of State’s legislation is to eliminate the population threshold for city campaign finance reporting and require reporting from any candidate or political committee that raises or spends at least $500 in an election campaign.  Regardless of the city’s population size, any candidate or political group that raised or spent at least $500 in an election campaign would have to file campaign finance reports.   

This change would help transparency in elections by focusing reporting requirements on candidates and political groups that are raising and spending money.  The current population threshold requires considerable effort by write-in candidates and others who raise and spend little, if any, money.  This is time consuming for city clerks, who often must personally fill out reports for these candidates who may only spend a few bucks out of their own pocket for their campaign.

Other changes proposed by the legislation include:

·         Requiring electronic filing of campaign finance reports.

·         Requiring 48-hour notice of contributions of $1,000 or more at any point during the campaign, not just within a narrow timeframe before the election, as is currently the case.

·         Increasing penalties for Sunshine Law violations from $250 to $2,500 for an individual and from $2,500 to $10,000 for a business, PAC or other political organization.

·         Clarifying that expenditures must be reported when the funds have been contractually obligated or committed, whether by oral or written agreement.


The legislation would not change the contribution limit for city elections, which is currently $1,000 per contributor (individual, business or PAC), except for the candidate who can contribute or loan unlimited amounts to their own campaign.

AIC asks city officials to review the draft legislation and reply with comments to Policy Analyst Justin Ruen at


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Important Registration Deadlines for AIC City Officials Day at the Capitol are Fast Approaching

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Updated: Monday, December 19, 2016

AIC’s annual City Officials Day at the Capitol is now only three weeks away. AIC requests that those interested in attending the event register by Thursday, January 19th to assist in developing accurate meal counts. Those wishing to stay the night in Boise on the night of the 25th can make reservations for $91.00 a night at the Grove Hotel. For reservations please call (208) 489-2222 and ask for the Association of Idaho Cities room block. The deadline to make a reservation through the AIC room block is January 6, 2017.

This year AIC is restructuring its annual City Officials Day at the Capitol. The event will be held Thursday, January 26 in Boise. The big change is that AIC has arranged to bring city officials to the Capitol for much of the program. While in prior years the event has been held offsite, this year the morning sessions, including a breakfast reception, will be held at the Idaho State Capitol. This means that in place of doing a sit-down luncheon for legislators at the Boise Centre, AIC will be hosting an early morning breakfast reception for city officials and legislators at the Capitol in the beautiful 4th Floor Rotunda. This will bring city officials to the Capitol to meet with their legislators to discuss important issues over a casual breakfast in a historic setting. AIC will provide shuttle service for city officials staying at the Grove Hotel to and from the Capitol (more information below).

The reception is designed such that city officials and legislators can come and go as schedules allow during the breakfast reception period between 7:00 am and 8:30 am. City officials are encouraged to arrange a time to meet with their legislators at the capitol and escort them to the breakfast reception at a time that is convenient for your legislators. AIC staff is willing to assist you in scheduling a time to meet with your legislator during the 1.5-hour window if needed. AIC is excited to have a presence of city officials at the Capitol.

After the breakfast reception, AIC will convene city officials in the West Wing Garden Level (basement) of the Capitol in the Lincoln Auditorium to officially kick off City Officials Day at the Capitol. AIC members will be able to pick up their name badge and event agenda at the Lincoln Auditorium entrance. The Lincoln Auditorium Session will run from 8:30am to 10:00am and feature several interactive presentations and panels. Among the panel presentations will be a legislative leadership panel and a media pundits panel. The legislative leadership panel will feature representatives from House and Senate leadership and focus on what legislative leaders expect to happen during the 2017 Legislative Session. The media pundits panel will feature panelists from the press corps and provide insights into what the media sees as the driving issues of the 2017 Legislative Session.

After the Lincoln Auditorium Session, AIC will provide shuttle service from the Capitol to Boise Centre East for a legislative briefing for city officials. The legislative briefing will take place at 10:30am in room 410 in the Boise Centre East. AIC staff and other invited guests will update city officials on AIC’s legislative initiatives as well as legislative proposals from other stakeholder groups that affect cities.

A luncheon for city officials will take place at 12:00 pm in Boise Centre East Room 400. Because city officials will have had breakfast with their legislators earlier in the morning, this year’s City Officials Day Luncheon will be for city officials only. Lieutenant Governor Brad Little will be our keynote speaker..

Below you will find additional information about the event including the tentative agenda, event registration, lodging, parking, and shuttle logistics.



Event Registration: Registration for City Officials Day at the Capitol is open. AIC members can register for the event at the following website: Registration is $50 and covers the cost of breakfast, lunch and meeting materials. Please note that refunds will not be issued for registrations canceled after January 19, 2017.

Overnight Lodging: Those wishing to stay the night in Boise on the night of the 25th can make reservations for $91.00 a night at the Grove Hotel. For reservations please call (208) 489-2222 and ask for the Association of Idaho Cities room block. The deadline to make a reservation through the AIC room block is January 6, 2017.

Transportation Logistics: Parking downtown can be a challenge. AIC will arrange for a shuttle service to transport city officials staying at the Grove Hotel to and from the Idaho Capitol. A shuttle will leave the Grove Hotel to the Capitol every fifteen minutes from 7:00 am to 8:00 am. Shuttle service will return from the Capitol to the Boise Centre from 10:00 am to 10:30 am. Limited parking is also available around the Capitol including paid street parking directly adjacent to the Capitol. There is also a free parking lot with limited Capitol Mall three-hour parking spaces at the Idaho Law and  Justice Learning Center located at 514 W Jefferson (parking lot entrances are located on N. 5th St, State Street, or N. 6th Street). Plan to arrive early if you plan on utilizing one of these prized free Capitol Mall parking spots.



Association of Idaho Cities

City Officials Day at the Capitol

Tentative Agenda

Session 1:       Breakfast Reception with Legislators from 7:00 am to 8:30 am at the Idaho State                               Capitol

7:00 am             Breakfast Reception with Legislators – 4th Floor Rotunda, Idaho State Capitol

Come to the Capitol and accompany your legislators to the 4th Floor Rotunda and enjoy a breakfast reception in the historic Idaho Capitol. Stop by with your legislators for a bite to eat anytime between 7:00 am and 8:30 am. AIC will provide shuttle service from the Grove Hotel to the State Capitol every 15 minutes between 7:00am and 8:00 am to make the logistics of getting to and from the Capitol easier.

Session 2:        Opening Session from 8:30 am to 10:00 am in the Lincoln Auditorium at the Idaho                            State Capitol

8:30 am              Welcome and Introductions – Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad, AIC President                      

8:45 am             Overview of Capitol Building, Legislative Process, and Staffing – TBD

9:00 am              Legislative Leadership Panel – TBD

9:30 am              Media Pundits Panel – TBD

10:00 am            Shuttle Service Back to Boise Centre

Session 3:         Legislative Briefing and Luncheon for City Officials at the Boise Centre East

10:30 am            AIC Legislative Briefing – Boise Centre East Room 410

AIC staff and invited guests from other legislative stakeholder groups will brief city officials on legislation affecting cities.

12:00 pm            Luncheon for City Officials with Lt. Gov. Brad Little – Boise Centre East Room 400

Because city officials will have had breakfast with their legislators earlier in the morning, the luncheon will be structured differently this year. A special guest speaker will be invited to speak to city officials over lunch about the 2017 Legislative Session. Governor Otter has been invited to be our featured speaker; however, given his unpredictable schedule, his office has yet to confirm his attendance.

1:15 pm              AIC Legislative Briefing – Boise Centre East Room 410

AIC staff will wrap up the legislative briefing and the membership will be invited to take positions on issues (as needed).

3:00 pm              Adjourn

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Road & Street Finance Report Deadline Approaches

Posted By Justin Ruen, Thursday, December 29, 2016

The deadline to submit the Annual Road & Street Finance Report is fast approaching.  The Q&A below covers some basic information about the reporting requirements.

Question: Why must cities complete and submit the Annual Road & Street Finance Report to the state?

Article VII, Section 17 of the Idaho Constitution requires that the proceeds of taxes on gasoline and other motor vehicle fuels, as well as vehicle registration fees, be spent solely on “construction, repair, maintenance and traffic supervision of the public highways of this state…and no part of such revenues shall, by transfer of funds or otherwise, be diverted to any other purposes whatsoever.”

The state Highway Distribution Account allocates revenues from state fuel taxes, vehicle registration fees and other miscellaneous sources to the Idaho Transportation Department, local highway jurisdictions and the Idaho State Police. 

To ensure accountability and transparency in the spending of these dedicated revenues, Idaho Code 40-708 requires that local highway jurisdictions submit an annual report to the State Controller’s office listing revenues and expenditures for the recently completed fiscal year for construction, maintenance and administration of streets, bridges and culverts. 

It is critical that the form be completed accurately because this information is scrutinized by legislators and Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) officials.

Question: Is any training available to help city officials understand how to fill out the report?

Yes.  City officials can watch online training videos featuring Susan Lasuen of the Local Highway Technical Assistance Council (LHTAC).  Links to webinar video, Page 1 Instruction Video, Page 2 Instruction Video, and Page 3 Instruction Video

Question: When are the deadlines for submitting and publishing the report?

The report for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016 must be submitted to the Office of the State Controller (P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0011) by December 31, 2016.   The report must also be published once as a legal notice in the official city newspaper between January 1- 15, 2017.

Question: Where can I find the report form and other information?

There are several helpful documents on the Idaho Transportation Department website at under “Local Roads” and then “Forms for Local Government Road & Street Finance Reports.”

·         Online reporting forms for the Road & Street Finance Report, as well as HB 312 reporting.


·         Automated and non-automated Excel report forms.


·         Instructions for filling out the report.

LHTAC also has the reporting forms, instructions and links to the videos on their website.

Question: Does our city need to provide information concerning highway construction and maintenance projects and activities occurring during the fiscal year? 

Yes.  The report includes a section on construction, reconstruction and maintenance activities performed throughout the year.  The purpose of these questions is to give state policymakers information on what local highway jurisdictions are able to accomplish with their limited resources.  The information which must be provided is outlined below.

New Construction

Total lane miles constructed.

Total square feet of bridge deck constructed.

Reconstruction / Replacement / Rehabilitation

Total lane miles rebuilt, realigned, or overlay.

Total square feet of bridge deck reconstructed or rehabilitated.

Routine Maintenance

Total lane miles chip sealed or seal coated.

Total lane miles graded or bladed.

You will likely need to get this information from your City Engineer, Public Works Director or Maintenance Supervisor.

Question: What are the consequences of failing to submit the report?

Idaho Code 40-708 empowers the State Controller to withhold Highway Distribution Account revenue from any local highway jurisdiction that has failed to submit the report. 

The law also provides that failure to submit or publish the report, or making false statements in the report is grounds for removal from office, as well as a criminal misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and imprisonment for up to 90 days.  

Question: Who can I call for help on completing the report?

Susan Lasuen at the Local Highway Technical Assistance Council (at (208) 344-0565 or has great expertise in this area.  Justin Ruen at AIC ((208) 344-8594 or is also a helpful resource.

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Toxics Criteria for Human Health and Aquatic Life

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Thursday, December 15, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Clean Water Act requires that States update their toxic criteria every three years – a change made in the Clean Water Act in 1987 to reflect Congressional concern about the slow pace of improving toxics controls.  This applies to the human health criteria that are based on assumptions of fish consumption.  It also applies to criteria that are intended to protect aquatic life, such as threatened and endangered species.  

Criteria become the water quality goals for waters of the state, target for TMDLs, and may be used to establish limitations and other required actions such as Pollutant Minimization Plans and monitoring requirements for regulated point sources (i.e., stormwater, wastewater, potable water treatment facility permits, etc.).  Most of Idaho's human health standards for toxics in surface water have not been updated since 1992.

Since 1992, EPA has updated its guidance for deriving human health toxic water quality criteria in its Methodology for Deriving Ambient Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Human Health (2000).  The 2000 Methodology increased the national default average fish consumption rate from 6.5 grams/day to 17.5 grams/day (the equivalent of 18.5 ounces of fish per month or 6.2 three ounce-servings each month).  EPA has also updated the CWA Section 304(a) recommended criteria to reflect this change in the national default fish consumption assumption.  For subsistence fishers, EPA recommended a national default consumption rate of 142.4 grams/day (the equivalent of 150 ounces per month or 50 three ounce-servings each month). In the 2000 Methodology, EPA also adopted guidance directing states to use local data on fish consumption when it was available.

EPA recently reviewed Washington State’s proposed toxics criteria and implementation guidance according to a court ordered date to approve or disapprove the criteria no later than November 15, 2016.  Most of Washington's human health standards for toxics in surface water also have not been updated since 1992. The new set of standards adopted by EPA is based on more recent science about health protection and fish consumption rates.  Specifically, the water quality standards now in place for Washington are based on the most sensitive population, typically tribes with treaty-protected rights, with a daily fish consumption rate of 175 grams/day (the equivalent of 185 ounces per month or 62 three ounce-servings each month) and a one-in-one million cancer risk level.

In the review, EPA also approved Washington’s revisions to its variance and compliance schedule provisions, which give the State and affected industries and municipalities some additional flexibility and time to implement the new standards while making reasonable progress in improving water quality.

Toxics rulemaking for Idaho was initiated in October 2012 in response to EPA’s disapproval of Idaho’s proposed criteria earlier that year.  Idaho concluded water quality toxics criteria rulemaking in May 2016 and submitted the toxics rulemaking package to EPA for review, approval, or disapproval on December 13, 2016.  


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