By Mary Anne Nelson, IPDES Program Manager

It’s been a little over a year since the IPDES program application was submitted to EPA. The application package was determined to be complete, meaning it met the minimum requirements for content; however, EPA and DEQ had some work left to do to ensure that the program would operate effectively and efficiently.

After working diligently with the stakeholder committee, holding public meetings to develop guidance documents, and receiving and responding to comments, DEQ and EPA are now ready to put the application package out for public comment. EPA posted a notice in the Federal Register on August 11 opening a 60-day public comment period. Several ways are available for the public to provide comments to EPA: https://www.epa.gov/npdes-permits/idaho-npdes-program-authorization.

Public participation is a key element for approving a state’s permitting program. Participation is important when the program is being reviewed for approval but also when the state drafts a permit, negotiates rules, or proposes a settlement agreement. DEQ welcomes public involvement and participation to ensure the agency listens to and serves the citizens of Idaho.

EPA and DEQ personnel are touring the state next week, September 11 through 15, and holding informational meetings and public hearings to take oral or written comments on the program application. The locations, dates, and times are provided below.

DEQ continues to work on guidance documents, including the User’s Guide to Permitting and Compliance, which are intended to help DEQ staff, regulated entities, and the public understand how the permitting process will work in Idaho and to ensure compliance. As the date for program approval approaches, DEQ staff will also be training wastewater operators in using the IPDES E-Permitting System. DEQ is excited to provide the opportunity to reduce paper waste, improve efficiency, and provide a reliable system for regulated dischargers to interface with DEQ staff on permitting and compliance issues.

It’s a new and exciting time for the state as we develop this project and an entirely new state-run program. Stay tuned for more updates and information. 

Date

Start Time

City

Meeting Location

Monday, September 11

4 p.m.—Informational presentations, Q&A

6 p.m.—Public hearing

Idaho Falls

Central Public Library
457 W. Broadway
Idaho Falls, ID 83402

Tuesday, September 12

4 p.m.—Informational presentations, Q&A

6 p.m.—Public hearing

Twin Falls

Twin Falls Public Library
201 Fourth Ave. East
Twin Falls, ID 83301

Wednesday, September 13

4 p.m.—Informational presentations, Q&A

6 p.m.—Public hearing

Boise

Boise Public Library
715 S. Capitol Blvd.
Boise, ID 83702

Thursday, September 14

4 p.m.—Informational presentations, Q&A

6 p.m.—Public hearing

Lewiston

Lewiston Community Center
1424 Main St.
Lewiston, ID 83501

Friday, September 15

2 p.m.—Informational presentations, Q&A

4 p.m.—Public hearing

Coeur d’Alene

Coeur d'Alene Public Library
702 E. Front Ave.
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814