Protecting Public Health and the Environment.

Water Quality: Docket No. 58-0102-1501 - Final Rule

Rulemaking initiated to add language to the Idaho Water Quality Standards that is consistent with the federal regulations for designating and revising uses assigned to water bodies, providing basis for guidance on the use designation/revision process.

Public Comment Opportunities | Negotiated Rulemaking History

Status of Rulemaking

Final rule effective March 25, 2016. Final rule package submitted to EPA for approval December 30, 2016.

Final Rule Package Submitted to EPA

Until EPA approves the revisions in this rule docket, the previous standards published in 2015 Idaho Administrative Code continue to apply and are effective for Clean Water Act purposes.

This submittal also includes documents that exist as part of the rulemaking record and posted below.

Rulemaking Documents

Effective Date

March 25, 2016

Overview

The purpose of this rulemaking is to add language to the Idaho Water Quality Standards that is consistent with the federal regulations for designating and revising uses assigned to water bodies, providing basis for guidance on the use designation/revision process.

A Use Attainability Analysis (UAA) is required in order to revise or remove a designated beneficial use that is not an existing use on a water body. According to federal Clean Water Act regulation (40 CFR 131.10), a designated use may be changed or removed if it is demonstrated that attaining the designated use is not feasible. The federal regulations describe six reasons for justifying infeasibility of use attainment, as well as limitations on removal of a currently designated use.

Not all water body beneficial use designations necessarily reflect the most appropriate use and may benefit from a UAA. Idaho has had mixed success in developing UAAs and changing use designations. Currently, DEQ does not have language in its Water Quality Standards pertaining to the UAA process, and consequently, DEQ has no basis for a policy or guidance document on when an UAA is appropriate or how to perform a UAA. UAA involves considerable data collection, analysis, and resources to meet the high demonstrable threshold required to revise use designations. Without guidance on when an UAA is required and the requirements of a successful UAA, an UAA is difficult and risky.

In 2014, the State of Idaho Office of Performance Evaluations (OPE) submitted Evaluation Report 14-03 to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee. The report recommended DEQ complete its UAA guidance document. In its response to Report 14-03, DEQ committed to completing the UAA guidance after a basis for UAA guidance was established in the Water Quality Standards. This rulemaking is intended to develop sufficient language regarding the UAA process such that the OPE recommended guidance may be completed.

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

Public Comment Opportunities/Proposed Rule

Submit all written comments by mail, fax or email to:

Paula Wilson
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
1410 N. Hilton, Boise, ID 83706
Fax: (208) 373-0481, paula.wilson@deq.idaho.gov

Comment Period/Proposed Rule

August 5, 2015 through September 4, 2015

No public hearings have been scheduled.

Written Public Comments

Submitted by Date Received
Idaho Conservation League (ICL) 08/19/15 
EPA Region 10 08/28/15
Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry (IACI) 09/04/15

Negotiated Rulemaking History

The text of the proposed rule has been drafted based on discussions held and concerns raised during negotiations conducted pursuant to Idaho Code § 67-5220 and IDAPA 58.01.23.810-815. The Notice of Negotiated Rulemaking was published in the March 2015 Idaho Administrative Bulletin, Vol. 15-3, and a preliminary draft rule was made available for public review. Meetings were held on April 7 and May 19, 2015. Several members of the public participated in this negotiated rulemaking process by attending the meetings and by submitting written comments. A record of the negotiated rule drafts, written comments, documents distributed during the negotiated rulemaking process, and the negotiated rulemaking summary is available below.

All comments received during the negotiated rulemaking process were considered by DEQ when making decisions that resulted in drafting the proposed rule. At the conclusion of the negotiated rulemaking process, DEQ formatted the final rule draft for publication as a proposed rule. DEQ is now seeking public comment on the proposed rule.

Negotiated Rulemaking Meeting Schedule

No additional meetings are scheduled.

Previous Meetings

May 19, 2015 - Sign-in Sheets | Agenda
April 7, 2015 -
Sign-in Sheets | Agenda

Draft Negotiated Rule and Related Documents

The draft negotiated rule can be obtained here or by contacting Paula Wilson at paula.wilson@deq.idaho.gov, (208) 373-0418.

Draft Negotiated Rule Date Posted Written Comment Deadline
Draft No. 3 07/29/15 The comment period for this negotiated rulemaking has concluded. The comment period on the proposed rule will commence upon publication of the proposed rule in the August 5, 2015 issue of the Idaho Administrative Bulletin.

 

Draft Negotiated Rule Date Posted Date of Meeting Discussion Written Comment Deadline
Draft No. 2 05/12/15 05/19/15 06/19/15

Written Public Comments

Comment Submitted by Date Received
Comment on Draft No. 2 Idaho Conservation League (ICL) 06/17/15
Comment on Draft No. 2 U.S. EPA Region 10 06/19/15

 

Draft Negotiated Rule Date Posted Date of Meeting Discussion Written Comment Deadline

Preliminary Draft (Draft No. 1)

Designation and Attainability of Beneficial Uses: Existing Uses - Discussion Paper #1

Designation and Attainability of Beneficial Uses: Man-Made Waters - Discussion Paper #2

Designation and Attainability of Beneficial Uses: Attainability - Discussion Paper #3

02/27/15

 

04/03/15

 

04/03/15

 

04/03/15

04/07/15 04/21/15

Written Public Comments

Comment Submitted by Date Received
Comment on Draft No. 1 Association of Idaho Cities (AIC) 04/21/15
Comment on Draft No. 1 Idaho Conservation League (ICL) 04/21/15
Comment on Draft No. 1 Idaho Water Users Association (IWUA) 04/21/15
Comment on Draft No. 1 Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) 04/21/15
Comment on Draft No. 1 Sawtooth Law Offices, PLLC 04/21/15
Comment on Draft No. 1 U.S. EPA Region 10 04/21/15

 

Documents Distributed for Negotiated Rulemaking

DEQ Policy Discussion Papers and Related Documents

Discussion Paper Date Posted
Revisions and Attainability of Beneficial Uses - DEQ PowerPoint Presentation (04/07/15 meeting) 04/08/15
Designation and Attainability of Beneficial Uses: Existing Uses - Discussion Paper #1 (04/07/15 meeting) 04/03/15
Designation and Attainability of Beneficial Uses: Man-Made Waters - Discussion Paper #2 (04/07/15 meeting) 04/03/15
Designation and Attainability of Beneficial Uses: Attainability - Discussion Paper #3 (04/07/15 meeting) 04/03/15

 

Meeting Presentations and Miscellaneous Documents Date Posted
Negotiated Rulemaking Summary 08/10/15
Revisions and Attainability of Beneficial Uses - DEQ PowerPoint Presentation (05/19/15 meeting) 05/22/15
Clean Water Act Jurisdiction Determinations – EPA PowerPoint Presentation (5/19/15 meeting) 05/22/15
Idaho’s Man-made and Private Waterways Rule Provisions – EPA PowerPoint Presentation (05/19/15 meeting) 05/22/15
2008 Letter Regarding Existing Uses 04/03/15
References to Supporting Documents 04/03/15
Rulemaking Schedule 02/27/15

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Staff Contacts

Water Quality Standards Scientist
Stephanie Jenkins
DEQ State Office
1410 N. Hilton
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 373-0407
stephanie.jenkins@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