Protecting Public Health and the Environment.

Water Quality: Docket No. 58-0102-1103 - Final Rule

Rulemaking initiated to make the language on implementation of antidegradation procedures in Idaho’s water quality standards consistent with changes in state law brought about by the 2011 Legislature’s passage of House Bill 153.

Final Rule Package Approved by EPA

In this approval, EPA does not address reinstatement of use designations for eight Boise River tributaries (IDAPA 58.01.02.140.12 and 278).

Until EPA approves the revisions in IDAPA 58.01.02.140.12 and 278, the previous standards published in 2001 Idaho Administrative Code continue to apply and are effective for Clean Water Act purposes.

Final Rule Package Submitted to EPA for Approval

The following documents were submitted in paper and electronic formats:

Status of Rulemaking

Pending Rule adopted by Board and approved by Legislature. Final and effective 03/29/12.

Effective Date

03/29/12

Overview

In November 2010, antidegradation implementation procedures were adopted by the Idaho Board of Environmental Quality and then submitted to the 2011 Idaho Legislature for review (Docket No. 58-0102-1001).  Under House Concurrent Resolution 16 (HCR16), the Legislature rejected certain portions of the rule and approved the remainder of the rule. The Legislature also adopted House Bill 153 (HB153) that revised the Idaho Code to include sections addressing antidegradation, including sections regarding the definition of degradation, the treatment of general permits, the identification of Tier II waters, and insignificant discharges or activities.  The new sections added to Idaho law by HB153 correspond to the portions of the rule rejected by HCR16.

This rulemaking is necessary to make the language on implementation of antidegradation procedures in Idaho’s water quality standards complete and consistent with changes in state law brought about by the 2011 Legislature’s passage of HB153.  DEQ proposes to revise the Water Quality Standards, IDAPA 58.01.02, with respect to antidegradation implementation, for consistency with HB153.

The proposed rule includes the following:

  1. The definition of “degradation or lower water quality” and “general permit” will be added to Section 010.
  2. Subsection 051.03 regarding outstanding resource waters will be revised due to language added in HB153.
  3. Language regarding application of antidegradation to general permits will be inserted as Subsection 052.03.
  4. Language regarding identification of Tier II waters will be inserted as Subsection 052.05.
  5. Language regarding insignificant activity or discharge will be inserted as Subsection 052.08.a.
  6. Reference to special resource waters and the designation of waters determined to be special resource waters will be deleted.

This proposed rule also includes a housekeeping revision that is necessary due to EPA’s disapproval of a prior rule docket.  Docket No. 58-0102-0101, adopted by the Idaho Board of Environmental Quality in 2001 and submitted to EPA for approval on March 18, 2002, changed the aquatic life use designations for 8 Boise River tributaries.  On November 29, 2004, EPA disapproved all 8 changes in aquatic life use designations for those waterbodies.  With this rulemaking, DEQ is proposing to reinstate the use designations for those 8 Boise River tributaries that were in place prior to the 2001 adoption of Docket No. 58-0102-0101.  This proposed revision is found in Subsection 140.12 and Section 278.

After consideration of public comments, the rule has been adopted as initially proposed.

Comment Period/Proposed Rule

July 6 through August 5, 2011

Written Public Comments/Proposed Rule

Comment Date Received Submitted by
Comment on Proposed Rule 08/03/11 Greater Yellowstone Coalition

Negotiated Rulemaking

Due to the nature of this rulemaking, negotiations were not held.


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Staff Contacts

Water Quality Standards Lead
Jason Pappani
DEQ State Office
Water Quality Division
1410 N. Hilton
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 373-0515
jason.pappani@deq.idaho.gov

Administrative Rules Coordinator
Paula Wilson
DEQ State Office
Attorney General's Office
1410 N. Hilton
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 373-0418
paula.wilson@deq.idaho.gov