Beginning July 1, Idaho will take over permitting and enforcing pollution discharges in state waterways
The state of Idaho and the U.S. EPA have agreed that Idaho will take over the responsibility of permitting and enforcing aspects of the federal Clean Water Act in the state beginning July 1. The agreement, signed by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Idaho Gov. C.L. Otter, delegates authority to Idaho to implement the Idaho Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.
Two-thirds of the cost of the program will come from the state’s general fund, with the rest of the funds supplemented by those seeking permits. The state will need to take on more staff and have a 29 full-time positions at a projected cost of $3 million annually. Despite the costs of a state-run program, Idaho lawmakers think the system will be more effective than having the understaffed Idaho EPA review permits and discharges.
“Congratulations to the state of Idaho,” Pruitt said. “We are excited to sign this and look forward to working with Idaho as we go forward on these issues.”