DEQ seeks public comment on the 2020 Nitrate Priority Area Delineation and Ranking Process report

March 12, 2021

BOISE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking comment on the 2020 Nitrate Priority Area Delineation and Ranking Process report.

The report outlines the techniques used to evaluate and rank Idaho’s 35 nitrate priority areas in order to help federal, state, and local agencies prioritize ground water protection and remediation activities.

Nitrate is the most widespread ground water contaminant in Idaho and is commonly found in public water supply systems. Nitrate priority areas were developed to identify aquifers with ground water quality degradation due to nitrate so resources could be directed to those areas to help protect public health. 

In 2020, DEQ and the Idaho Ground Water Monitoring Technical Committee revised the list of nitrate priority areas using data collected from 1990 through 2016. The re-evaluation process is designed to use more recent data to assess ground water quality changes in the existing nitrate priority areas and identify new areas with nitrate-degraded ground water. 

The 2020 Nitrate Priority Area Delineation and Ranking Process report is available for public review at DEQ’s State Office (1410 N. Hilton St.) and on DEQ’s website.

Written comments on the report will be accepted through April 13, 2021, at 5 p.m. MST. Submit comments electronically on DEQ’s Public Comments page or by mail or email to:

Kathryn Elliott
Ground Water Coordinator
1410 N. Hilton
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 373-0191
Kathryn.Elliott@deq.idaho.gov

Related Documents
2020 Nitrate Priority Area Delineation and Ranking Process

DEQ awards drinking water planning grant to the city of Kimberly

March 11, 2021

BOISE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today announced the award of a drinking water planning grant for $35,000 to the city of Kimberly in Twin Falls County.

The funds will be used to prepare a drinking water facility plan. The purpose of the project is to evaluate the water system’s deficiencies and identify any necessary improvements.

The total eligible cost of the project is $70,000. The remaining $35,000 will be funded by the city of Kimberly.

Staff Contact

MaryAnna Peavey
Grants and Loans Bureau Chief
MaryAnna.Peavey@deq.idaho.gov

DEQ seeks comment on draft water reuse permit for J.R. Simplot Company, Inc.

March 5, 2021

ABERDEEN — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking public comment on a draft water reuse permit for J.R. Simplot Company, Inc., Aberdeen Facility.

The J.R. Simplot Company’s Aberdeen facility operated as an industrial potato processor but has not been in production since January 2015.

The draft permit renewal would allow the facility to return to full operation and permit the application of municipal recycled water on the Simplot Aberdeen Knudsen Site for a period of five years.

As part of the permitting process, the company was required to show that its operation would not cause public health or environmental concerns.

The draft permit specifies buffer zones around the irrigation site, hydraulic and nutrient loading rates, operating practices, and monitoring requirements established by DEQ to protect public health and the environment.

The draft permit and staff analysis are available for public review at DEQ’s State Office, DEQ’s Pocatello Regional Office, and on DEQ’s website. Written comments will be accepted through April 5, 2021, at 5 p.m. MDT.

Submit comments electronically on DEQ’s website or by mail or email to:

Scott MacDonald
Water Quality Staff Engineer
444 Hospital Way, #300
Pocatello, ID 83201
Scott.MacDonald@deq.idaho.gov

Related Documents
Staff Analysis
Draft Permit

DEQ awards $25.2 million low-interest wastewater construction loan to the city of Preston

March 3, 2021

BOISE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today announced the award of a $25.2 million low-interest wastewater construction loan to the city of Preston in Franklin County.

The funding will be used to replace part of the collection system and improve the wastewater treatment system, which includes new headworks, lift station, oxidation ditches, tertiary filtration system, and UV disinfection system.

DEQ is authorized by state law to make loans to assist in the construction of public wastewater systems. Since the annual cost of wastewater service for residential customers exceeds one and one-half percent of the median household income, the city of Preston is able to qualify for a disadvantaged loan which carries very favorable repayment terms.

The loan from DEQ’s State Revolving Loan Fund, which is capitalized annually by grants from the US Environmental Protection Agency, carries a simple 1.75% interest rate, is payable over 30 years, and has $154,905 of principal forgiveness.  Of these funds $22,280,000 is expected to be refinanced by the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development leaving a total obligation to DEQ of $2,765,095. The favorable loan terms represent a $406,043 savings to the community when compared to average costs for municipal general obligation debt issuances.

Staff Contact

MaryAnna Peavey
Grants and Loans Bureau Chief
MaryAnna.Peavey@deq.idaho.gov

DEQ prepares IPDES preliminary draft permit for Henggeler Packing Company, Inc.

February 26, 2021

BOISE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is releasing an Idaho Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (IPDES) preliminary draft permit to the Henggeler Packing Company, Inc. for preliminary review.

The facility has 10 days to review the preliminary draft permit and fact sheet for any errors and omissions that should be addressed before the public participation period. After the preliminary draft period has concluded, DEQ will revise the preliminary draft permit as needed, at which point it will become a draft permit for public review and comment.

DEQ will formally notify all necessary parties that the draft permit, fact sheet, and associated application have been posted on DEQ’s website for public review and comment, per the “Rules Regulating the Idaho Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Program” (IDAPA 58.01.25.109). To be notified of the forthcoming posting, subscribe to DEQ’s Public Comment Opportunities page.

Staff Contact
Rakael Pope
IPDES Industrial Permit Writer
Rakael.Pope@deq.idaho.gov

DEQ seeks contractor for Triumph Mine stabilization project

February 18, 2021

BOISE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking a contractor to perform stabilization work within the Triumph mine tunnel. This project will ensure safe access to the tunnel to evaluate and complete longer-term tunnel stabilization or closure work over the next few years.

The project is necessary because the original materials used to stabilize the tunnel in 2001 have exceeded the design life.  This has created unstable conditions within the tunnel resulting in collapse.  Although the tunnel conditions require repair, these conditions do not affect the stability of the permanent concrete plugs installed within the tunnel.  The two plugs remain in stable condition and continue to perform as expected.   

Failure to complete longer term stabilization work or permanently close the tunnel will result in continued collapse. This could create instability at the ground surface or cause the release of mine water and debris from behind the collapsed material.  The work planned over the next few years will more fully address these issues.

The Triumph Mine is an inactive silver, zinc, and lead mine located in Blaine County, Idaho. The mine operated from the late 1800s until the 1950s, leaving behind high levels of heavy metals in the soils and water. During active mining operations, the Triumph tunnel was used to transport ore from the mines to the mill located near the town of Triumph, Idaho.  Cleanup efforts at the Triumph site began in 1998.

In 2001, as part of the cleanup, the Triumph tunnel was re-opened and stabilized for approximately 1,300 feet to allow for construction of a 16-foot thick concrete plug within the tunnel.  A second, 17-foot thick concrete plug, located 235 feet within the tunnel, was constructed in 2016.  The plugs were designed to prevent the discharge of polluted mine water and debris from the mine.

Construction of the mine plugs reduced the amount of mine water discharge from 100 to 200 gallons per minute to just 7 to 10 gallons per minute today.  In addition, the reduced mine water flow significantly reduced levels of heavy metals discharging from the mine.     

Staff Contact

Don Carpenter
Senior Mining Scientist
Don.Carpenter@deq.idaho.gov

DEQ to hold public informational meeting on draft air quality permit to construct for Midas Gold

February 18, 2021

BOISE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will hold a public informational meeting on a draft air quality permit to construct for Midas Gold Idaho Inc.’s Stibnite Mine, located at the intersection of Forest Service Roads NF-374 and NF-412. 

The meeting will be held virtually on March 3, 2021, from 6 to 8 p.m. MST. DEQ staff will be available to answer questions and provide information about the permit and permitting process. To request a link to the virtual meeting please email Darrin Pampaian at darrin.pampaian@deq.idaho.gov.

Midas Gold Idaho, Inc., applied for a permit to construct an open-pit gold mine and to operate on-site ore processing, ore concentration and refining, and ancillary equipment. On December 18, 2020, DEQ received an addendum to the permit application from Midas Gold Idaho, Inc. to address substantive comments received during the previous public comment period concerning the emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAP) and toxic air pollutants (TAP). DEQ has updated the proposed permit and technical review, and has crafted a response to comments document in response to the HAP/TAP addendum and all public comments received to date, and proposes issuing the permit.

To submit written comments, please also see DEQ’s Public Comment Opportunities page.

Staff Contact
Morrie Lewis
Air Quality Permit Writer
Morrie.Lewis@deq.idaho.gov

Related Documents
Legal Notice
Permit
Application
Statement of Basis
DEQ Response to Comments
Midas Gold Inc. Response to Request for More Information

National Academy of Sciences schedules first public meeting assessing water quality in Coeur d’Alene Lake

February 10, 2021

BOISE — The National Academy of Sciences will host the first public meeting of the Committee on the Future of Water Quality in Coeur d’Alene Lake later this month.

The meeting will take place virtually and will include two open sessions with presentations from study sponsors and an open-mic period to hear stakeholder comments at the end of the first session. The public is encouraged to attend.

The first session is scheduled for February 24, 2021, from 8:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. PST and will include introductory and background information related to the Coeur d’Alene Basin as well as goals for the study. The second session is scheduled for February 26, 2021, 8 to 11 a.m. PST and will be more technical in nature, covering previous data collection, analyses, and modeling efforts.

In 2020, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, Kootenai County, and the US Environmental Protection Agency, with the support of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, asked the National Academy of Sciences to analyze water quality data in Coeur d’Alene Lake and provide recommendations to address issues of concern.

Historical mining activities deposited millions of tons of contaminated sediment into Coeur d’Alene Lake and its tributaries, including zinc, cadmium, and lead. Since the implementation of environmental regulations in the mid-1970s, metal concentrations have declined, though lakeshore development, land use changes, and increased nutrient loads could reverse this success.

The National Academy of Sciences convened an initial meeting of subject matter experts on November 20, 2020, and will proceed with this study over the next 18 months.  

Staff Contact

Jamie Brunner
Lake Management Plan Supervisor
Jamie.Brunner@deq.idaho.gov

Crop Residue Burning Advisory Committee to meet virtually on February 24

February 8, 2021

BOISE – Idaho’s Crop Residue Burning Advisory Committee will meet virtually on February 24, 2021, to review past program performance and discuss potential program improvements.

The meeting, which is open to the public, will be held from 9 a.m. to noon PDT.

The committee was established in 2008 to advise the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on the burning of crop residue on lands other than the five Indian reservations.

The committee is comprised of 11 members appointed to four-year terms by DEQ’s director. Membership is structured to include representatives of environmental, farming, health, and tribal organizations, along with DEQ, the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Please check DEQ’s Crop Residue Burning Advisory Committee Meeting page for additional information or contact Mark Boyle at 208-666-4607, or mark.boyle@deq.idaho.gov.

DEQ seeks comment on draft water reuse permit for Rapid River Water and Sewer District

February 8, 2021

RIGGINS — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking public comment on a draft water reuse permit for Rapid River Water and Sewer District located in Riggins, Idaho.

The district was constructed in early 1970s and provides  water and sanitation services to approximately 50 residential homes.  An existing activated sludge wastewater treatment plant with a discharge to a subsurface distribution system provides sanitary sewer to residents.

DEQ developed the reuse permit to provide permitting coverage for the district’s existing subsurface system that ensures public health and the environment continued to be protected.

The draft permit and staff analysis are available for public review at DEQ’s State Office, Lewiston Regional Office, and on DEQ’s website. Written comments will be accepted through March 10, 2021, at 5 p.m. PDT.

Submit comments electronically on DEQ’s website or by mail or email to:

Nicolas Hiebert
Senior Water Quality Engineer
1118 “F” St.
Lewiston, ID 83501
Nicolas.Hiebert@deq.idaho.gov

Related Documents
Draft Permit
Staff Analysis

DEQ extends comment period on proposed IPDES permit for the city of Cottonwood

February 4, 2021

COTTONWOOD — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has extended the public comment period for the proposed city of Cottonwood Idaho Pollution Discharge Elimination System (IPDES) Permit (ID0021849).

Interested parties now have until February 12, 2021, at 5 p.m. MST to submit written comments.

The permit authorizes the discharge of treated municipal wastewater to the Cottonwood Creek for five years. The permit identifies the pollutants of concern and specifies associated discharge limits. Additionally, the permit specifies monitoring and reporting requirements necessary to ensure compliance, protect human health, and assure the integrity of Idaho’s environment.

The draft permit and fact sheet are available for public review at DEQ’s Lewiston Regional Office, the DEQ State Office and on DEQ’s Public Comments page.

Submit written comments on the draft permit and fact sheet electronically on DEQ’s website or by mail or email to:

Lori Flook
Surface and Wastewater Division
1410 N. Hilton St.
Boise, ID 83706
Lori.Flook@deq.idaho.gov

Matt Stutzman
Surface and Wastewater Division
1410 N. Hilton St.
Boise, ID 83706
matthew.stutzman@deq.idaho.gov

Related Documents

DEQ seeks comment on draft IPDES permit for the city of Salmon

February 4, 2021

Salmon — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) seeks comment on a draft Idaho Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (IPDES) permit for the city of Salmon Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW).

Salmon applied for a wastewater discharge permit for its wastewater treatment facility, located at 43 Lemhi Hole Road Salmon in Idaho. The proposed permit would authorize the discharge of treated municipal wastewater year round to the Salmon River for five years. The permit identifies the pollutants of concern, the required limits for each pollutant or parameter, and monitoring and reporting requirements necessary to ensure compliance with the permit and protect human health and the environment.

Written comments on the draft permit and fact sheet will be accepted through March 8, 2021, at 5 p.m. MST.

The draft permit and fact sheet are available for public review at DEQ’s state office (1410 N. Hilton St.), DEQ’s Idaho Falls Regional Office (900 N. Skyline Drive, Suite B Idaho Falls, ID) and on DEQ’s website. A public meeting may be held, if requested in writing, by February 18, 2021.

Comments and questions regarding this process should be directed to Matt Stutzman, or on DEQ’s Public Comments page. Comments should address water quality considerations and include supporting materials where available. Comments should also reference the city of Salmon POTW and permit number (ID0020001).

Matt Stutzman
Surface and Wastewater Division
1410 N. Hilton St.
Boise, ID  83706
matthew.stutzman@deq.idaho.gov

Please submit requests for a public meeting electronically on DEQ’s website, by mail, or email to Lori Flook.

Lori Flook
Surface and Wastewater Division
1410 N. Hilton St.
Boise, ID  83706
Lori.Flook@deq.idaho.gov

Related Documents

Draft Permit
Fact Sheet
Application

DEQ awards wastewater planning grant to Garden Valley School District

February 4, 2021

BOISE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today announced the award of a wastewater planning grant for $20,000 to Garden Valley School District in Boise County.

The funds will be used to prepare a wastewater planning study and environmental review. The purpose of the project is to evaluate the current wastewater system and develop alternatives for any needed improvements.

The total eligible cost of the project is $40,000. The remaining $20,000 will be funded by Garden Valley School District.

Staff Contact

MaryAnna Peavey
Grants and Loans Bureau Chief
MaryAnna.Peavey@deq.idaho.gov

DEQ extends comment period on proposed IPDES permit for the South Fork Coeur d’Alene River Sewer District

December 23, 2020

COEUR D’ALENE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has extended the public comment period for the proposed South Fork Coeur d’Alene River Sewer District Page Wastewater Treatment Facility (Page WWTF) Idaho Pollution Discharge Elimination System (IPDES) Permit (ID0023100).

Interested parties now have until February 3, 2021, at 5 p.m. MST to submit written comments.

The permit authorizes the discharge of treated municipal wastewater to the South Fork Coeur d’Alene River for five years. The permit identifies the pollutants of concern and specifies associated discharge limits.  Additionally, the permit specifies monitoring and reporting requirements necessary to ensure compliance, protect human health, and assure the integrity of Idaho’s environment.

The draft permit and fact sheet are available for public review at DEQ’s Coeur d’Alene Regional Office, the DEQ State Office and on DEQ’s website.

Submit written comments on the draft permit and fact sheet electronically on DEQ’s website or by mail or email to:

Lori Flook
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
Water Quality Division
1410 N. Hilton
Boise, ID  83706
Email: Lori.Flook@deq.idaho.gov

Karen Jackson
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
Water Quality Division
1410 N. Hilton
Boise, ID  83706
Email: Karen.Jackson@deq.idaho.gov

Related Documents

DEQ seeks member at large for Southwest Basin Advisory Group

BOISE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) seeks a member at large to represent the general population of the Southwest Basin on the Southwest Basin Advisory Group (BAG).

The Southwest BAG is a group of stakeholders that advise DEQ on surface water issues across the 10 southwestern counties of Idaho.

BAG members are appointed by the DEQ director and meet two to three times per year. State law requires the group to include a cross-section of interests, including agriculture, forestry, municipalities, industry, recreation, tribes, environmental interests, and the general public.

Responsibilities include advising DEQ on:

  • Priorities for monitoring within the basin
  • Revisions needed in the designated beneficial uses for water bodies within the basins
  • Categories to which water bodies in the basin should be assigned
  • Processes for developing and implementing TMDLs
  • Members to be appointed to watershed advisory groups
  • Priorities for water quality programs within the basin based on available economic resources

Members are unpaid, but are reimbursed for travel expenses.

Anyone interested in serving on the BAG should contact Kati Carberry by March 1, 2021, and include a name, mailing address, phone number, email address, and a brief description of involvement in water quality issues.

Kati Carberry
1445 North Orchard Street
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 373-0321
kati.carberry@deq.idaho.gov

DEQ awards drinking water planning grant to the city of Weiser

December 28, 2020

BOISE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today announced the award of a drinking water planning grant for $45,000 to the city of Weiser in Washington County, Idaho.

The funds will be used to prepare a drinking water facility plan. The purpose of the project is to evaluate the water system’s deficiencies and identify necessary improvements.

The total eligible cost of the project is $90,000. The remaining $45,000 will be funded by the city of Weiser.

Media Contact

MaryAnna Peavey
Grants and Loans Bureau Chief
(208) 373-0122
MaryAnna.Peavey@deq.idaho.gov

DEQ extends public comment opportunity on draft Jervois Mining Ltd. Points of Compliance revision


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

IDAHO FALLS — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is extending the public comment opportunity on a draft surface water Points of Compliance (POC) determination for Jervois Mining Ltd.

The public now has until February 1, 2021, at 5 p.m. MST to submit comments.

A POC is a location at which Idaho’s surface and ground water quality standards must be met. Mine operators are required to protect current and projected beneficial uses of ground water and meet water quality standards.

The draft surface water POC determination for Jervois Mining Ltd. is designed to prevent impacts to surface water while not impacting the Blackbird Mine remediation activities occurring within the same watershed. Changes from 2011 include additional constituents of concern, reduction in some ground wells, and updating the Upper Tolerance Limits with current data unavailable in 2011.

Submit written comments on DEQ’s website or by mail or email to:

Troy Saffle
DEQ Idaho Falls Regional Office
900 N. Skyline Drive, Suite B
Idaho Falls, ID 83402
Email: troy.saffle@deq.idaho.gov

Related Documents

Jervois Mining Idaho Cobalt Operations POC

DEQ seeks comment on draft IPDES permit for city of Richfield wastewater treatment facility

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

RICHFIELD — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) seeks comment on a draft Idaho Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (IPDES) permit for the city of Richfield Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF).

The city applied for a wastewater discharge permit for its public wastewater treatment facility, located at 1568 East Highway 26 in Richfield, Idaho.

The proposed permit would authorize the discharge of treated municipal wastewater November through April to the Little Wood River for five years. The permit identifies the pollutants of concern and lists the required limits for each pollutant or parameter and monitoring and reporting requirements necessary to ensure compliance with the permit and protect human health and the environment.

Written comments on the draft permit and fact sheet will be accepted through January 14, 2021, at 5 p.m. MST. The draft permit and fact sheet are available for public review at DEQ’s state office (1410 N. Hilton St.), DEQ’s Twin Falls Regional Office (650 Addison Avenue West, Suite 110), and on DEQ’s website. A public meeting may be held, if requested in writing, by December 29, 2020.

Comments and questions regarding this process should be directed to Karen Jackson or at DEQ’s Public Comments page. Comments should address water quality considerations and include supporting materials where available. Comments should also reference the facility name and permit number (ID0021211).

Karen Jackson
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
Surface & Wastewater Division
1410 N. Hilton St.
Boise, ID 83706
Email: Karen.Jackson@deq.idaho.gov

Please submit request for public meeting electronically on DEQs website, by mail, or email to Lori Flook.

Lori Flook
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
Surface & Wastewater Division
1410 N. Hilton St.
Boise, ID 83706
Email: Lori.Flook@deq.idaho.gov

Related Documents
Permit
Fact Sheet
Application

DEQ to host public informational meeting on P. Kay Metal variance

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

BOISE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will hold a public informational meeting on a variance from a hazardous waste treatment storage or disposal facility permit for P. Kay Metal Lewiston, LLC.

A public hearing on the variance renewal will be held on January 20, 2021, at 5:30 p.m. PST at the Lewiston Community Center, located at1424 Main Street in Lewiston, Idaho. DEQ staff will be available to answer questions before the meeting starting at 5:00 p.m. PST.

Remote attendance is encouraged and the public can provide comments via telephone and video conference. To sign up for remote attendance via telephone and video conferencing, contact Daryl Sawyer by January 14, 2021.

P. Kay Metal is a lead recycling operation that produces lead and lead alloys in bar and wire form for a variety of uses. The variance would allow the facility to receive shipments of lead-bearing hazardous secondary materials (HSM) for reclamation from states that use a uniform hazardous waste manifest as a shipping document without obtaining a hazardous waste permit. The variance does not authorize receipt of hazardous waste, only HSM.

The variance and fact sheet are available at DEQ’s offices in Boise (1410 N. Hilton) and Lewiston (1118 F. St.) and on DEQ’s website.

Staff Contact

Daryl Sawyer
Hazardous Waste Permit Writer
(208) 373-0547
Daryl.Sawyer@deq.idaho.gov

Related Documents