DEQ awards nearly $96,000 to three drinking water and wastewater systems across Idaho

June 6, 2023

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

BOISE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today announced the award of $95,250 to three drinking water and wastewater systems to help the facilities evaluate system deficiencies and determine necessary upgrades as part of Governor Brad Little’s “Leading Idaho” plan.

“Families, farmers, ranchers, and all Idaho residents rely on clean, efficient water and wastewater systems. These systems are not only a crucial part of our way of life, but our economy as well. Funding for these projects from my Leading Idaho plan aims to ensure that Idaho residents – especially those in our rural communities – can depend on our water and wastewater infrastructure for generations to come,” said Idaho Governor Brad Little.

City of Cascade – The city of Cascade in Valley County was awarded $20,000 to prepare a wastewater planning study to evaluate the current wastewater system and identify needed improvements. The total project cost is $40,000, and the remaining $20,000 will be funded by the city of Cascade.

City of Glenns Ferry – The city of Glenns Ferry in Elmore County was awarded $50,250 to prepare a drinking water planning study to evaluate the current drinking water system and identify needed improvements. The total project cost is $100,500, and the remaining $50,250 will be funded by the city of Glenns Ferry.

Mud Lake and Terreton Water and Sewer District – Mud Lake and Terreton Water and Sewer District in Jefferson County was awarded $25,000 to prepare a drinking water planning study and environmental review to evaluate the current drinking water system and identify needed improvements. The total project cost is $50,000, and the remaining $50,000 will be funded by Mud Lake and Terreton Water and Sewer District.

Background

DEQ’s Planning Grant Program provides assistance to eligible wastewater and drinking water systems. These grants are used to develop engineering reports identifying the most cost-effective, environmentally sound method of upgrading a system to achieve and maintain compliance with state and federal standards. Grants cover up to 50% of eligible planning costs, with the remaining cost is the grant recipient’s responsibility.

For more information about DEQ’s Planning Grant Program and to learn more about this year’s grant recipients, go to DEQ’s Facility Planning Grants page.

DEQ awards nearly $19 million to four drinking water and wastewater systems across Idaho

June 6, 2023

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

BOISE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today announced the award of $18,484,665 construction grants to four drinking water and wastewater systems.  

These construction projects are funded from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds that Governor Brad Little directed to DEQ in 2022.

“Water is our most valuable resource, and we absolutely must keep up the infrastructure to ensure water is clean and plentiful for this generation and future ones. That is why we made historic investments in water quality and quantity this year as part of my ‘Leading Idaho’ plan,” Governor Little said. “These investments also could keep your property taxes low. Property taxes are determined locally but the investments we made in water and other infrastructure needs at the state level help relieve the burden on local government to cover costs of projects, improving the chances property owners won’t be burdened with the costs,” said Governor Little.

Bayview Water and Sewer District – Bayview Water and Sewer District in Kootenai County was awarded $393,215 for supply and distribution improvements aligned with phase one of the system’s scope of work.

City of Gooding – The city of Gooding in Gooding County was awarded $13,872,310 for wastewater system improvements to the nine lift stations, wastewater collection system, and force main piping. The lift station and collection system replacement include manhole replacements and collection system rehabilitation.

City of Grand View – The city of Grand View in Owyhee County was awarded $2,354,352 for wastewater improvements including installing a total containment lagoon, optimizing Cell #1, relining Cell #2, improving dike and flood resiliency, and improving the collection system and lift main.

Mud Lake and Terreton Water and Sewer District – Mud Lake and Terreton Water and Sewer District in Jefferson County was awarded $1,864,788 to begin phase one improvements consisting of the lining of lagoon cells one, three, and four, and lift station rehabilitation.

Background

In 2022, the State of Idaho approved plans to roll out $300 million in water and wastewater infrastructure project funding, benefiting communities across Idaho through DEQ’s State Revolving Loan Fund program. This program provides low-interest loans and grants to qualified recipients to improve their drinking water and wastewater facilities. The criteria and list to expend the ARPA funds are listed at https://gov.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/deq-leading-idaho-water-projects_06-2022.pdf

These construction grants represent an estimated $30,285,956 savings to communities compared to average costs for municipal general obligation debt issuances. 

For more information about DEQ’s State Revolving Loan Fund Program and to learn more about this year’s funding recipients, go to DEQ’s Construction Loans page.

DEQ issues correction to December 2022 news release on grant funding

June 2, 2023

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

BOISE – A news release issued by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality on December 5, 2023, incorrectly stated that some drinking water and wastewater systems receiving grant funding were also receiving funding from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). System information was updated for Declo, Emida, Groveland, and Moreland. In the original news release, the last sentence of each of these systems noted that the remaining funding will be from USDA. This information has been corrected to state they will be funded by the system receiving the grant funding. The updated news release is provided here.

DEQ awards $3,000,000 to Hoo Doo Harvard Water and Sewer District, Latah County

June 2, 2023

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

BOISE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today announced the award of a $3,000,000 low-interest drinking water construction loan to Hoo Doo Harvard Water and Sewer District in Latah County.

The funding will be used to complete a planning effort and environmental review in addition to installing two new wells, a well house, new water storage facilities, and replacing meters and the transmission main.

DEQ is authorized by state law to make loans to assist in the construction of public drinking water systems. Since the annual cost of drinking water service for residential customers exceeds one and one-half percent of the median household income, the Hoo Doo Harvard Water and Sewer District qualified for a disadvantaged loan that carries favorable repayment terms.

The loan from DEQ’s State Revolving Loan Fund, which is capitalized annually by grants from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, has $3,000,000 in principal forgiveness. The favorable loan terms represent a $5,016,539 savings to the community when compared to average costs for municipal general obligation debt issuances.

DEQ prepares IPDES preliminary draft permit for the city of Post Falls

May 24, 2023

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) released an Idaho Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (IPDES) preliminary draft permit to the city of Post Falls for preliminary review on May 18, 2023.

The facility has ten 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 soon 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, go to the DEQ’s “Newsroom” page and click the “Subscribe” link.

DEQ requests permission to sample private wells in Ashton-Drummond nitrate priority area

May 24, 2023

Contact: Destiny Locke, Water Quality Analyst, Destiny.Locke@deq.idaho.gov

ASHTON – The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Idaho Falls Regional Office is requesting permission to sample private wells within the Ashton-Drummond Nitrate Priority Area, which is known to be impacted by elevated nitrates in groundwater. DEQ’s priority will be to sample areas where aquifer flow directly contributes to local public drinking water sources. Nitrates in groundwater are a concern as elevated levels can prevent the body’s ability to use oxygen. Sensitive groups including infants under the age of six months are the most susceptible. The health-risk based federal drinking water standard for nitrate is 10 milligrams per liter.

This sampling effort, at no cost to the well owner, is designed to revisit sites sampled prior to 2010, include new locations, and update the nitrate concentration data in this region. The sampling outcomes will aid in understanding the primary sources of nitrates, continued development of agricultural best management practices, and decisions concerning future development in the area. Once results are obtained and analyzed, information will be provided to the private well owners to assist in protecting the quality of their well water.

If you are interested in participating, contact Destiny Locke, Idaho Falls Regional Office, at (208) 528-2650 or Destiny.Locke@deq.idaho.gov by June 12, 2023.

DEQ announces public comment period on draft FY24 State Revolving Fund Intended Use Plans and Leading Idaho Funds Priority List

May 23, 2023

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

BOISE- The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announces a public comment period, May 23–June 12, 2023, concerning the following draft documents, which, upon final DEQ Board acceptance, will govern the state fiscal year 2024:

  1. State Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Intended Use Plan—contains the priority lists for the loan projects, emerging contaminants projects, and lead service line inventory projects
  2. State Drinking Water Planning Grant Priority List
  3. State Clean Water State Revolving Fund Intended Use Plan—contains the priority lists for the loan projects and emerging contaminants projects
  4. State Wastewater Planning Grant Priority List
  5. Leading Idaho Funding Criteria and Priority List

This notice fulfills the public information requirements of Idaho’s rules for the administration of the drinking water and clean water construction grant and loan programs.

DEQ will award grants and loans from these lists in priority order to the highest ranked projects that are ready to proceed. Awards will be made to fully use all available funding.

The comment period provides interested parties an opportunity to comment on the grant and loan lists.

A public meeting discussing the priority lists is scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. MDT on June 1, 2023, via Microsoft Teams. Visit DEQ’s Events Page to register for this meeting.

Applicants for the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grants, which is a separate grant opportunity and not part of the public comment period, will be notified before July 1, 2023, of their funding status.

Copies of the priority lists and intended use plans are available for public review at the following locations:

DEQ State Office
1410 N. Hilton St.
Boise, ID  83706
(208) 373-0122
Contact: MaryAnna Peavey
DEQ Boise Regional Office
1445 N. Orchard St.
Boise, ID 83706 (208) 373-0550
Contact: Valerie Greear
DEQ Idaho Falls Regional Office
900 Skyline, Suite B
Idaho Falls, ID 83402
(208) 528-2650
Contact: William Teuscher
DEQ Lewiston Regional Office
1118 “F” St.
Lewiston, ID 83501
(208) 799-4370
Contact: Hannah Erickson
DEQ Pocatello Regional Office
444 Hospital Way, #300
Pocatello, ID 83201
(208) 236-6160
Contact: Andrew Fellows
DEQ Coeur d’Alene Regional Office
2110 Ironwood Pkwy.
Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
(208) 769-1422
Contact: Katy Baker-Casile
DEQ Twin Falls Regional Office
650 Addison Avenue West, Suite 110
Twin Falls, ID 83301
(208) 736-2190
Contact: Joseph Otero
 

The eight priority lists and two intended use plans can also be viewed on DEQ’s Public Comment Opportunities page.

Anyone may submit comments regarding the proposed lists. Written comments can be sent by regular mail or email to MaryAnna Peavey at the address given above. All written comments and data concerning the priority lists and intended use plans must be received on or before June 12, 2023.

Source water protection grant applications due July 15, 2023

May 22, 2023

Contact: Curtis Cooper, Source Water Protection Coordinator, IdahoSourceWater@deq.idaho.gov

BOISE— The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is accepting source water protection grant applications for the FY2024 source water protection funding cycle.

Source water protection grants provide funding for projects that protect or reduce contamination of public drinking water sources. Eligible projects include the following:

  • Contaminant pathway removal (e.g., closure of abandoned or unused wells)
  • Contaminant source identification (e.g., research)
  • Contaminant removal (e.g., hazardous waste collection, pollution prevention, and waste reduction)
  • Contaminant management (e.g., implementation of best management practices or structures to divert contaminated runoff from the source)
  • Restoration and conservation of the ecological function of source water protection areas
  • Education and information sharing (e.g., brochures, workshops, and media campaigns)
  • Security measures to protect the source

Grants cannot be used for personnel or equipment costs associated with operation and maintenance of drinking water systems.

Eligible applicants include public water systems, state and local government agencies, tribes, special districts such as soil conservation districts, associations, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions in Idaho.

The maximum award per grant is $24,000.

Applications are due July 15, 2023. Electronic submissions are preferred. For more information or to apply for a source water protection grant, visit DEQ’s Source Water Protection Grants page or contact Curtis Cooper, Source Water Protection Coordinator, at (208) 373-0249 or IdahoSourceWater@deq.idaho.gov.

DEQ seeks comment on draft IPDES permit for the Idaho Power Company Brownlee Power Plant

May 19, 2023

Contact: Triffie Ransom, Surface and Wastewater Division, Triffie.Ransom@deq.idaho.gov

CAMBRIDGE – The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) seeks comment on a draft Idaho Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (IPDES) permit for the Idaho Power Company Brownlee Power Plant.

The Idaho Power Company applied for a wastewater discharge permit for its hydroelectric facility, located at 4987 Highway 71, Cambridge, Idaho.

The draft permit would authorize the discharge of industrial hydroelectric wastewater year-round to the Snake River for five years. The permit identifies the pollutants of concern and 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 June 20, 2023, at 5 p.m. MDT. The draft permit and fact sheet are available for public review at DEQ’s State Office (1410 N. Hilton Street, Boise, Idaho), DEQ’s Boise Regional Office (1445 N. Orchard Street, Boise, Idaho), and on DEQ’s Public Comment Opportunities page. A public meeting may be held, if requested in writing, by June 2, 2023.

Comments and questions regarding this process should be directed to Triffie Ransom or submitted on DEQ’s Public Comment Opportunities page. Comments should address water quality considerations and include supporting materials where available. Comments should also reference the Idaho Power Company Brownlee Power Plant and permit number ID0020907.

Triffie Ransom
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
Surface and Wastewater Division
1410 N. Hilton St.
Boise, ID  83706
Triffie.Ransom@deq.idaho.gov

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

Amy Southern
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
Surface and Wastewater Division
1410 N. Hilton St.
Boise, ID  83706
Amy.Southern@deq.idaho.gov

DEQ issues boil water order for Shotgun Cherokee Subdivision, Island Park

May 18, 2023 

Contact: Kelsey Carter, Drinking Water Analyst, Kelsey.Carter@deq.idaho.gov

ISLAND PARK — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is issuing a boil water order for Shotgun Cherokee Subdivision in Island Park, Idaho.

DEQ took water samples on May 17, 2023, at this public drinking water system as part of an investigation of water pressure and quality complaints. On May 18, 2023, DEQ received notification from the lab of E coli presence in the samples taken. E coli is an indicator that fecal contamination has occurred in the drinking water system. DEQ will continue to work with Island Park Water Company to resolve the situation.

Until further notice from DEQ, residents and businesses connected to the Shotgun Cherokee Subdivision water system are advised to boil their water for a minimum of one minute before consuming or to use bottled water.

View the Boil Orders for more details on what to do. For more information, contact the following:

Island Park Water Company
455 Constitution Way
Idaho Falls, ID 83402
(208) 521‐2369
water@ida.net

Kelsey Carter
Drinking Water Analyst
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
900 N. Skyline, Ste. B
Idaho Falls, ID 83402
(208) 528‐2650
Kelsey.Carter@deq.idaho.gov

DEQ awards $945,648 to the city of Grand View, Owyhee County

May 18, 2023

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

BOISE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today announced the award of a $945,648 low-interest wastewater construction loan to the city of Grand View in Owyhee County.

The funding will be used for wastewater improvements that include installing a total containment lagoon, optimizing Cell #1, relining Cell #2, increasing dike and flood resiliency, and updating the collection system and lift main.

The loan from DEQ’s State Revolving Loan Fund, which is capitalized annually by grants from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, carries a simple 1.50% interest rate, and is payable over 30 years. The favorable loan terms represent a $517,694 savings to the community when compared to average costs for municipal general obligation debt issuances.

DEQ files proposed settlement and seeks comment in case against US Silver Corporation – Idaho, Inc.

May 16, 2023

Contact: Mary Anne Nelson, Surface and Wastewater Division Administrator Mary.Anne.Nelson@deq.idaho.gov.

BOISE — On March 24, 2023, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) filed a complaint in Shoshone County against US Silver Corporation – Idaho, Inc. for violations of the Clean Water Act at the Galena Mine, located three miles from Wallace, Idaho, resulting from discharges into Lake Creek, a tributary of the South Fork Coeur d’Alene River.

The complaint alleges discharge of pollutants to waters of the United States in violation of the Idaho Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (IPDES) permit issued by DEQ under the Clean Water Act, Idaho Code § 39-175, et seq., and IDAPA 58.01.25. As part of the complaint, DEQ is seeking an injunction requiring US Silver to comply with the permit and all effluent and monitoring requirements and assess against the company statutory penalties.

In compliance with Idaho Code § 39-108(9) and IDAPA 58.01.25.500.04, DEQ is requesting public comment on the proposed settlement to the complaints. The proposed settlement directs US Silver to achieve compliance with the final effluent limits for arsenic under the prescribed compliance schedule, update and submit a quality assurance plan, and submit annual reports to DEQ. A penalty of $222,320 is levied for violations related to this complaint.

The proposed settlement is available for review at DEQ’s State Office (1410 N. Hilton Street, Boise Idaho) and on DEQ’s Public Comment Opportunities page. Written comments will be accepted through June 16, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. MDT. This proposed settlement may be amended or adjusted in the future; in which case, DEQ may provide an additional public comment period.

Submit comments on DEQ’s Public Comment Opportunities page or by mail or email:

Mary Anne Nelson
Surface and Wastewater Division Administrator
1410 N. Hilton St.
Boise, ID 83706
Mary.Anne.Nelson@deq.idaho.gov

DEQ seeks members for the Little Salmon River Watershed Advisory Group

May 11, 2023

Contact: Rachel Lindsey, Water Quality Analyst Rachel.lindsey@deq.idaho.gov

BOISE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) seeks representatives from various interest groups to serve on the Little Salmon River Watershed Advisory Group (WAG).

The WAG is comprised of citizens from a diverse set of interests dedicated to improving and protecting water quality in the Little Salmon River subbasin. The Little Salmon River WAG was initially formed in May 2004 and met throughout the development of multiple Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), five-year reviews, and implementation plans in the Little Salmon River subbasin. The WAG has not officially met since 2016 but will reconvene in spring 2023 to assist with the five-year review of the water bodies in the subbasin with TMDL water quality improvement plans and to advise DEQ on all waters within HUC 17060210.

DEQ is seeking participants from groups representing agriculture, mining, point source dischargers, forest products, local government, livestock, water-based recreation, environmental interests, and land management or regulatory agencies. Members do not need to be water quality experts to serve on a WAG. Individuals who live or work within the area of interest are knowledgeable and informed, and DEQ values community input.

Responsibilities of WAG members include the following:

  • Advise DEQ on developing a water quality improvement plan known as a TMDL for the Little Salmon River subbasin.
  • Advise DEQ on developing a five-year review for the Little Salmon River subbasin.
  • Help identify contributing pollution sources in the Little Salmon River subbasin. 
  • Recommend specific actions to effectively control sources of pollution in the Little Salmon River subbasin.
  • Help develop and implement a plan to meet water quality targets identified in the TMDLs.

The WAG meets monthly or bimonthly and members are asked to serve at least two-year terms. Meetings will be advertised and open to the public. To learn more, see the WAG fact sheet.

For anyone interested in attending or serving as a member on the Little Salmon River WAG, please complete the WAG survey here or on DEQ’s Watershed Advisory Groups web page. Return surveys by email to rachel.lindsey@deq.idaho.gov, mail (1445 N. Orchard Street, Boise, ID 83706), or deliver in person at the meeting.

The upcoming WAG meeting is tentatively scheduled for June 7, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. MDT at the New Meadows Senior Citizen Center.

DEQ issues boil water orders for Valley View Subdivision, Goose Bay Estates, and Aspen Ridge Subdivision, Island Park

May 11, 2023

Contact: Kelsey Carter, Drinking Water Analyst, Kelsey.Carter@deq.idaho.gov

ISLAND PARK — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is issuing a boil water order for Valley View Subdivision, Goose Bay Estates, and Aspen Ridge Subdivision in Island Park, Idaho.

DEQ took water samples on May 8 and 9, 2023, at these public drinking water systems as part of an investigation of water pressure and quality complaints. On May 10, 2023, DEQ received notification from the lab of E coli presence in the samples taken. E coli is an indicator that fecal contamination has occurred in the drinking water system. All three systems are already on boil water advisories due to lack of water or low-pressure in the distribution systems. DEQ will continue to work with Island Park Water Company to resolve the situation.

Until further notice from DEQ, residents and businesses connected to the Valley View Subdivision, Goose Bay Estates, and Aspen Ridge Subdivision water systems are advised to boil their water for a minimum of one minute before consuming or to use bottled water.

View the Boil Orders for more details on what to do. For more information, contact the following:

Island Park Water Company
455 Constitution Way
Idaho Falls, ID 83402
(208) 521‐2369
water@ida.net

Kelsey Carter
Drinking Water Analyst
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
900 N. Skyline, Ste. B
Idaho Falls, ID 83402
(208) 528‐2650
Kelsey.Carter@deq.idaho.gov

DEQ awards $1,194,056 to the city of Nezperce, Lewis County

May 10, 2023

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

NEZPERCE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today announced the award of a $1,194,056 low-interest wastewater construction loan to the city of Nezperce, Lewis County.

The funding will be used for the implementation of wastewater reuse facilities, including the installation of pump stations, storage facilities, and irrigation systems.

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 Nezperce qualifies for a disadvantaged loan that carries favorable repayment terms.

The loan from DEQ’s State Revolving Loan Fund, which is capitalized annually by grants from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, carries a simple 1.50% interest rate, is payable over 30 years, and has $513,370 in principal forgiveness. The favorable loan terms represent a $1,097,660 savings to the community when compared to average costs for municipal general obligation debt issuances.

DEQ reopens and seeks comment on draft water reuse permit renewal for Basic American Foods, Inc. – Rexburg Facility

May 9, 2023

Contact: Todd Higgins, Wastewater Reuse Permit Writer, todd.higgins@deq.idaho.gov

REXBURG – The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has reopened and is seeking comment on a draft water reuse permit renewal for Basic American Foods, Inc. – Rexburg Facility.

Basic American Foods is located in Rexburg, Idaho, and produces industrial wastewater that is pretreated and land applied. The draft reuse permit would add 11.1 acres to the existing Plant Farm located north of Rexburg for a total of 222.8 acres and add 72.6 acres to the existing Salem Farm located north of Sugar City for a total of 581 acres. The permit renewal will reauthorize operations for an additional six years.

The draft reuse permit establishes monitoring requirements, limits on nutrient and hydraulic loading, and conditions established by DEQ to protect public health and the environment. As part of the permitting process, the permittee was also required to show that its operation would not cause public health or environmental concerns.

The permit materials are available for public review at DEQ’s State Office (1410 North Hilton Street, Boise, Idaho 83706), DEQ’s Idaho Falls Regional Office (900 N. Skyline, Ste. B, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83402), and on DEQ’s Public Comment Opportunities page.

Written comments will be accepted through May 11, 2023, at 5 p.m. MDT. Submit comments electronically on DEQ’s website or by mail or email to:

Todd Higgins
1410 N. Hilton Street
Boise, ID 83706
todd.higgins@deq.idaho.gov

DEQ issues boil water advisory for Shotgun North and Shotgun Kickapoo, Island Park

May 5, 2023 

Contact: Kelsey Carter, Drinking Water Analyst, Kelsey.Carter@deq.idaho.gov

ISLAND PARK — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is issuing a boil water advisory for Shotgun North and Shotgun Kickapoo in Island Park, Idaho.

DEQ was alerted on May 1, 2023, that there was a loss of water or pressure at both the Shotgun North and Shotgun Kickapoo water systems. On May 4, 2023, DEQ became aware that not all persons served received proper notification of the boil advisory in place. Currently, there are no recent sample results to indicate if there is water contamination in the systems. Pressure has not been fully restored throughout the distribution, and disinfection has not occurred. DEQ is continuing to work with Island Park Water Company to resolve the situation and will be at the site on May 8 and May 9 to obtain pressure readings and water quality samples.

Until further notice from DEQ, residents and businesses connected to the Shotgun North and Shotgun Kickapoo water systems are advised to boil their water for a minimum of one minute before consuming.

View the Boil Water Advisory. For more information, contact the following:

Island Park Water Company
455 Constitution Way
Idaho Falls, ID 83402
(208) 521‐2369
water@ida.net.

Kelsey Carter
Drinking Water Analyst
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
900 N. Skyline, Ste. B
Idaho Falls, ID 83402
(208) 528‐2650
Kelsey.Carter@deq.idaho.gov

DEQ awards nearly $16 million to five drinking water and wastewater systems across Idaho

May 3, 2023

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

BOISE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today announced the award of $15,388,688 in construction grants to five drinking water and wastewater systems.  

These construction projects are funded from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds that Governor Brad Little directed to DEQ in 2022.

“Water is our most valuable resource, and we absolutely must keep up the infrastructure to ensure water is clean and plentiful for this generation and future ones. That is why we made historic investments in water quality and quantity this year as part of my ‘Leading Idaho’ plan,” Governor Little said. “These investments also could keep your property taxes low. Property taxes are determined locally but the investments we made in water and other infrastructure needs at the state level help relieve the burden on local government to cover costs of projects, improving the chances property owners won’t be burdened with the costs,” said Governor Little.

The following facilities have received funding:

City of Bliss – The city of Bliss in Gooding County was awarded $7,554,554 to construct a new drinking water well and undergo an evaluation of senior water rights including potential acquisition of the property. The city will also evaluate their current drinking water well for needed distribution improvements.

City of Driggs – The city of Driggs in Teton County was awarded $1,531,330 to rehabilitate the main spring source, install a booster station, conduct a modification of pressure reducing valves, and replace water lines.

City of Oakley – The city of Oakley in Cassia County was awarded $673,814 to construct a new well, well house, and storage tank.

City of Shoshone – The city of Shoshone in Lincoln County was awarded $4,372,871 to construct a new water storage tank, install an electrical generator and a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system, upgrade the well house electrical including variable frequency drives, and improve the distribution system.

Southside Water and Sewer District – Southside Water and Sewer District in Bonner County was awarded $1,256,119 to expand the system’s source water production and evaluate the system’s current storage options and backup power.

Background

In 2022, the State of Idaho approved plans to roll out $300 million in water and wastewater infrastructure project funding, benefiting communities across Idaho through DEQ’s State Revolving Loan Fund program. This program provides low-interest loans and grants to qualified recipients to improve their drinking water and wastewater facilities. The criteria and list to expend the ARPA funds are listed at https://gov.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/deq-leading-idaho-water-projects_06-2022.pdf

These construction grants represent an estimated $24,640,804 savings to communities compared to average costs for municipal general obligation debt issuances.  For more information about DEQ’s State Revolving Loan Fund Program and to learn more about this year’s funding recipients, go to DEQ’s Construction Loans page.

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

May 3, 2023

CONTACT: Triffie Ransom, Surface and Wastewater Division, Triffie.Ransom@deq.idaho.gov

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

The city of Bovill applied for a wastewater discharge permit for its wastewater treatment facility, located at the intersection of Highway 3 and Highway 8 in Bovill, Idaho.

The draft permit would authorize the discharge of treated municipal wastewater from November through April to the Potlatch River for five years. The permit identifies the pollutants of concern, 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 June 2, 2023, at 5 p.m. MDT. The draft permit and fact sheet are available for public review at DEQ’s State Office (1410 N. Hilton Street, Boise, Idaho), DEQ’s Lewiston Regional Office (1118 F Street Lewiston, Idaho), and on DEQ’s Public Comment Opportunities page. A public meeting may be held, if requested in writing, by May 17, 2023.

Comments and questions regarding this process should be directed to Triffie Ransom, or submitted via DEQ’s Public Comment Opportunities page. Comments should address water quality considerations and include supporting materials where available. Comments should also reference the city of Bovill and permit number ID0022861.

Triffie Ransom
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
Surface and Wastewater Division
1410 N. Hilton Street
Boise, ID  83706
Triffie.Ransom@deq.idaho.gov

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

Amy Southern
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
Surface and Wastewater Division
1410 N. Hilton Street
Boise, ID  83706
Amy.Southern@deq.idaho.gov

DEQ awards $13,639,750 to the city of American Falls, Power County

April 28, 2023

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

AMERICAN FALLS — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today announced the award of a $13,639,750 low-interest drinking water construction loan to the city of American Falls in Power County.

The funding will be used to construct a new well, install a water meter and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system, and improve the water distribution system.

DEQ is authorized by state law to make loans to assist in the construction of public drinking water wastewater systems. Since the annual cost of drinking water service for residential customers exceeds one and one-half percent of the median household income, the city of American Falls qualifies for a disadvantaged loan that carries favorable repayment terms.

The loan from DEQ’s State Revolving Loan Fund, which is capitalized annually by grants from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, carries a simple 1.50% interest rate, is payable over 30 years, and has $604,063 in principal forgiveness. The favorable loan terms represent a $5,519,154 savings to the community when compared to average costs for municipal general obligation debt issuances.

DEQ seeks applications for fiscal year 2024 nonpoint source management grant program 

April 14, 2023 

Contact: Julia Achabal, Surface Water Bureau Chief, Julia.Achabal@deq.idaho.gov 

BOISE The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking grant applications for the fiscal year 2024 federal nonpoint source management §319 funding cycle. 

Section 319 of the Clean Water Act established a grant program to support a variety of nonpoint source pollution management activities, including technical assistance, financial assistance, education, training, technology transfer, demonstration projects, and monitoring to assess the success of specific nonpoint source implementation projects. 

Grants are awarded annually on a competitive basis. A successful grant must focus on reducing pollutant loads and improving the water quality of lakes, streams, rivers, and aquifers. Funds may be used to address nonpoint source management and prevention activities: 

  • Agriculture 
  • Stormwater 
  • Transportation 
  • Silvicultural or forestry-related activities 
  • Groundwater activities 
  • Mining 
  • Hydrologic and habitat modifications 

Application Process 

Interested applicants should submit a completed budget and application template and provide supporting documentation including letters of recommendation and maps. Resources and instructions can be found on DEQ’s Nonpoint Source Subgrants in Idaho web page under the header “Important Dates and Other Information.” Email completed application materials to NPSGrants@deq.idaho.gov

Applications will be accepted from April 14 to July 15, 2023. 

DEQ awards $1,801,059 to the city of Craigmont, Lewis County

April 12, 2023

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

CRAIGMONT — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today announced the award of a $1,801,059 low-interest wastewater construction loan to the city of Craigmont in Lewis County.

The funding will be used to install new headworks and a disinfection system; remove biosolids and ammonia; rehabilitate a lagoon; correct infiltration and inflow; and improve the collection 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 Craigmont qualifies for a disadvantaged loan that carries favorable repayment terms.

The loan from DEQ’s State Revolving Loan Fund, which is capitalized annually by grants from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, carries a simple 1.50% interest rate, is payable over 30 years, and has a $376,997 principal forgiveness. The favorable loan terms represent a $1,383,360 savings to the community when compared to average costs for municipal general obligation debt issuances.

DEQ seeks comment on proposed expedited settlement action and consent order with CM Company, Inc.

April 10, 2023

Contact: Troy Smith, IPDES Bureau Chief, troy.smith@deq.idaho.gov 

BOISE—The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking public comment on a proposed settlement action and consent order with CM Company, Inc. for violations of the 2022 general permit for discharges from construction activities. 

CM Company obtained coverage under Permit IDR10C01G as an operator at Union 93 in Meridian, Idaho. DEQ alleges the company failed to comply with all applicable conditions of the permit. DEQ prepared an expedited settlement agreement and consent order directing CM Company to resolve the violations and either pay a civil penalty or request a compliance conference. CM Company made payment in full for the civil penalty of $3,470 and signed the consent order.

The consent order is available for review at DEQ’s State Office (1410 N. Hilton Street, Boise, Idaho) and on DEQ’s Public Comment Opportunities page. Written comments will be accepted through May 10, 2023, at 5 p.m. MDT. Submit comments electronically on DEQ’s website or by mail or email:

Troy Smith
IPDES Bureau Chief
1410 N. Hilton St. 
Boise, ID 83706 
troy.smith@deq.idaho.gov 

DEQ seeks comment on draft water reuse permit for Idaho Power Company’s natural gas power plants in Elmore County

April 10, 2023

Contact: Adam Bussan, Senior Water Quality Engineer, adam.bussan@deq.idaho.gov 

MOUNTAIN HOME – The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking comment on a draft water reuse permit for Idaho Power Company’s natural gas power plants in Elmore County.

Idaho Power operates two natural gas power plants, Danskin and Bennett Mountain, near the city of Mountain Home, Idaho. The plants produce industrial wastewater that is land applied. Danskin recycled water is applied to 2.17 acres of landscaped berms, and Bennett Mountain recycled water is added to a pond that irrigates the city’s 90-acre golf course. The draft reuse permit is for existing facilities that had previously been exempted from reuse permitting requirements. The draft permit authorizes operations for 10 years.

The draft reuse permit establishes monitoring requirements and conditions established by DEQ to protect public health and the environment. As part of the permitting process, the permittee was also required to show that its operation would not cause public health or environmental concerns. 

The permit materials are available for public review at DEQ’s State Office (1410 North Hilton Street, Boise, Idaho), Boise Regional Office (1445 N. Orchard, Boise, Idaho), and on DEQ’s Public Comment Opportunities page. 

Written comments will be accepted through May 8, 2023, at 5 p.m. MDT. Submit comments electronically on DEQ’s website or by mail or email to: 

Adam Bussan
Senior Water Quality Engineer
1445 N. Orchard 
Boise, ID 83706
adam.bussan@deq.idaho.gov

DEQ issues notice of boil water advisory for the Aspen Ridge Subdivision, Island Park

April 7, 2023 

Contact: Kelsey Carter, Drinking Water Analyst, Kelsey.Carter@deq.idaho.gov.

ISLAND PARK — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is issuing notice of a boil water advisory for the Aspen Ridge Subdivision in Island Park, Idaho.

DEQ was alerted that not all homeowners received notification of the boil advisory in place for the Aspen Ridge Subdivision. DEQ became aware of a total loss of pressure event in the Aspen Ridge Subdivision on April 5, 2023. Currently, there is no known contamination; however, compliance samples have not been collected by the Island Park Water Company. Water has been restored to several homes in the subdivision, but the water has not been deemed safe for consumption. Pressure has not been fully restored throughout the distribution, and disinfection has not occurred.

Until further notice, residents in the Aspen Ridge Subdivision are advised to boil their water for a minimum of one minute before consuming.

View the Boil Water Advisory. For more information, contact the following:

Island Park Water Company
P.O. Box 2521
Idaho Falls, ID 83403
(208) 521‐2369
water@ida.net

Kelsey Carter
Drinking Water Analyst
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
900 N. Skyline, Ste. B
Idaho Falls, ID 83402
(208) 528‐2650
Kelsey.Carter@deq.idaho.gov

Agricultural best management practices grant applications due April 15, 2023 

April 7, 2023

Contact: Julia Achabal, Surface Water Bureau Chief, Julia.Achabal@deq.idaho.gov

BOISE — Idaho landowners, farmers, and ranchers who are interested in implementing agricultural best management practices have until April 15, 2023, to submit applications under the state Agricultural Best Management Practices (BMP) Grant Program. 

The grant program is designed to support pollution reduction efforts statewide, including helping landowners modify their agricultural practices to improve water quality and meet the objectives of total maximum daily load requirements. 

Eligible projects must address agricultural or ranching BMPs and be ready to implement. Projects must also involve multiple partners and leverage other funding resources. 

Application Process 

Interested applicants should submit a completed budget and application template and provide supporting documentation including letters of recommendation and maps. Resources and instructions can be found on DEQ’s Nonpoint Source Subgrants in Idaho web page under the header “Important Dates and Other Information.” Email completed application materials to NPSGrants@deq.idaho.gov

Applications will be accepted from March 15 to April 15, 2023. 

DEQ seeks two members for the Middle Snake Watershed Advisory Group

April 6, 2023

Contact: Amie Parris, Senior Water Quality Scientist, amie.parris@deq.idaho.gov

TWIN FALLS — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking a livestock and grazing representative and a hydropower representative to serve as voting members on the Middle Snake Watershed Advisory Group (WAG).

The Middle Snake WAG is a group of citizens from a diverse set of interests dedicated to successful restoration and protection of the health of the Middle Snake River between Milner Dam and King Hill. This area includes drainage from Rock Creek, Cedar Draw, Deep Creek, Mud Creek, Salmon Falls Creek, Clover Creek, and other smaller drainages. The area covers Jerome, Gooding, and Twin Falls Counties, from which the WAG seeks to have diverse representation.

Key WAG responsibilities are as follows:

  • Advise DEQ on developing water quality improvement plans, known as Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), for streams, lakes, and rivers with degraded water quality conditions within the watershed.
  • Identify contributing pollution sources in the watershed.
  • Recommend specific actions needed to effectively control sources of pollution to the water bodies.
  • Help develop and implement a plan to meet water quality targets identified in the TMDLs.

The Middle Snake WAG meets monthly. Members are asked to serve at least two-year terms. Anyone interested in serving on the WAG as a representative of the above interest groups should contact Amie Parris, DEQ Twin Falls Regional Office, at amie.parris@deq.idaho.gov by 5 p.m., May 5, 2023.

The next WAG meeting is scheduled for April 12, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. at 650 Addison Avenue W, Suite 110, Twin Falls, Idaho. Anyone with questions or interest in joining the WAG is encouraged to attend.

DEQ awards nearly $145,000 to three drinking water and wastewater systems across Idaho

April 5, 2023

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

BOISE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today announced the award of $144,875 to three drinking water and wastewater systems to help facilities evaluate system deficiencies and determine necessary upgrades, as part of Governor Brad Little’s “Leading Idaho” plan.

“Families, farmers, ranchers, and all Idaho residents rely on clean, efficient water and wastewater systems. These systems are not only a crucial part of our way of life, but our economy as well. Funding for these projects from my Leading Idaho plan aims to ensure that Idaho residents – especially those in our rural communities – can depend on our water and wastewater infrastructure for generations to come,” said Idaho Governor Brad Little.

City of Glenns Ferry – The city of Glenns Ferry in Elmore County was awarded $73,550 to prepare a wastewater planning study to evaluate the current wastewater system and identify needed improvements. The total project cost is $147,100, and the remaining $73,550 will be funded by the city of Glenns Ferry.

Coolin Sewer District – Coolin Sewer District in Bonner County was awarded $52,825 to prepare a wastewater planning study to evaluate the current wastewater system and identify needed improvements. The total project cost is $105,650, and the remaining $52,825 will be funded by Coolin Sewer District.

Santa Water and Sewer District – Santa Water and Sewer District in Benewah County was awarded $18,500 to prepare a drinking water planning study and environmental review to evaluate the current drinking water system and identify needed improvements. The total project cost is $37,000, and the remaining $18,500 will be funded by the US Department of Agriculture Rural Development.

Background

DEQ’s Planning Grant Program provides assistance to eligible wastewater and drinking water systems. These grants are used to develop engineering reports identifying the most cost-effective, environmentally sound method of upgrading a system to achieve and maintain compliance with state and federal standards. Grants cover up to 50% of eligible planning costs, with the remaining cost is the grant recipient’s responsibility.

For more information about DEQ’s Planning Grant Program and to learn more about this year’s grant recipients, go to DEQ’s Facility Planning Grants page.

DEQ awards nearly $51 million to 14 drinking water and wastewater systems across Idaho

April 5, 2023

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

BOISE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today announced the award of $50,550,110 in construction grants to 14 drinking water and wastewater systems.  

These construction projects are funded from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds that Governor Brad Little directed to DEQ in 2022.

“Water is our most valuable resource, and we absolutely must keep up the infrastructure to ensure water is clean and plentiful for this generation and future ones. That is why we made historic investments in water quality and quantity this year as part of my ‘Leading Idaho’ plan,” Governor Little said. “These investments also could keep your property taxes low. Property taxes are determined locally but the investments we made in water and other infrastructure needs at the state level help relieve the burden on local government to cover costs of projects, improving the chances property owners won’t be burdened with the costs,” said Governor Little.

The following facilities received funding:

City of Albion – The city of Albion in Cassia County was awarded $1,678,160 to increase the capacity of an existing well, drill a new well, replace the well buildings, create sampling plans and water system operations and maintenance manuals, construct a storage tank, install tank mixers, purchase a portable standby generator, improve the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system, distribution improvements, and upgrade and replace meters.

Eastern Idaho Regional Sewer District – Eastern Idaho Regional Sewer District in Bingham County was awarded $4,659,278 to begin Phase 1 improvements to increase the organic capacity of the biological system by achieving a higher retention time. This second biological train includes mixers, aeration diffusers, and return-activated sludge piping to reroute the return from all mixer liquor membranes to a splitter box.

City of Filer – The city of Filer in Twin Falls County was awarded $1,471,470 to construct a new municipal drinking water well and wellhouse including piping, valves, electrical, mechanical, instrumentation, controls, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system, and site work.

City of Franklin – The city of Franklin in Franklin County was awarded $253,932 to install an in-line automatic screen with a manual by-pass screen directly upstream of the treatment lagoons.

Fremont County – Fremont County was awarded $8,800,000 to replace the Last Chance/Ponds Lodge’s existing lagoon system with a mechanical treatment system and add a discharge line to Blue Creek.

City of Grand View – The city of Grand View in Owyhee County was awarded $1,574,160 to supplement the existing project which consists of rehabilitation and repair of well one, water quality testing and monitoring, installation of an ion exchange nitrate treatment system, and water distribution system improvements.

City of Hagerman – The city of Hagerman in Gooding County was awarded $4,275,000 to construct a new booster pump station and distribution system and improve the current pressure zone or create a new pressure zone or a new storage tank.

Laclede Water District – Laclede Water District in Bonner County was awarded $3,792,475 to complement their existing project. This project consists of installing a new duplex intake pump system, new duplex treated water pumps, 200,000-gallon reservoir, duplex booster pumps, visual pump failure alarms, and approximately 7,400 linear feet of transmission mains to and from the booster station.

City of McCammon – The city of McCammon in Bannock County was awarded $1,504,495 to clean, expand, and line the winter storage lagoon, remove biosolids from Cell 1, construct a headworks building with emergency power, update the city’s Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system, replace the city’s main lift station, repair sewer lines, install emergency power to the lift stations, and expand the wastewater reuse site.

Murray Water Association – Murray Water Association in Shoshone County was awarded $604,746 to install two new wells and associated transmission piping.

Riverside Water and Sewer District – Riverside Water and Sewer District in Clearwater County was awarded $1,800,000 for its drinking water system to address slush build-up in intake screens, reroute piping near the storage tanks, increase area served by the booster station, increase pumping capacity of treated water pumps to allow storage tank redundancy, and upsize existing water mains. Riverside Water and Sewer District was also awarded $1,036,394 for its wastewater system to install a new lift station, remove sludge from the first lagoon cell, and increase the size and efficiency of the chlorine contact basin.

City of Winchester – The city of Winchester in Lewis County was awarded $4,300,000 to provide wastewater treatment and improve the collection system. Improvements include smoke testing, manhole and mainline rehabilitation, pressure pipeline replacement, lift station upgrades, nutrient reduction study, influent screening, blower replacement, yard pump station relocation, plant water system upgrades, stand-by generator replacement, control upgrades, aerobic digestion system expansion, and dewater and disinfection upgrades.

City of Worley – The city of Worley in Kootenai County was awarded $14,800,000 to construct a new headworks and pumping facility to convey wastewater to the Coeur d’Alene Tribe treatment facility.

Background

In 2022, the State of Idaho approved plans to roll out $300 million in water and wastewater infrastructure project funding, benefiting communities across Idaho through DEQ’s State Revolving Loan Fund program. This program provides low-interest loans and grants to qualified recipients to improve their drinking water and wastewater facilities. The criteria and list to expend the ARPA funds are listed at https://gov.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/deq-leading-idaho-water-projects_06-2022.pdf.

These construction grants represent an estimated $84,017,188 savings to communities compared to average costs for municipal general obligation debt issuances. For more information about DEQ’s State Revolving Loan Fund Program and to learn more about this year’s funding recipients, go to DEQ’s Construction Loans page.

DEQ seeks members for the Upper Snake Basin Advisory Group 

March 31, 2023

Contact: Tasha Owen, Water Quality Analyst, tasha.owen@deq.idaho.gov

TWIN FALLS — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking representatives to fill two vacancies on the Upper Snake Basin Advisory Group (BAG).

The two vacancies include representation from the hydropower industry and the public at large.

The Upper Snake BAG is comprised of citizens, appointed by DEQ’s director, that represent stakeholder groups from 19 counties in southern Idaho. The BAG advises DEQ on water quality objectives within Idaho’s Upper Snake Basin and represents industries and interests directly affected by water quality programs within the basin.

The BAG meets as necessary to advise DEQ on the following matters:

  • Priorities 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 total maximum daily loads
  • Members to be appointed to watershed advisory groups
  • Water quality 319 nonpoint source priority projects throughout the region

Members must have a demonstrated interest or expertise that will benefit the work of the group. Anyone interested in serving on the BAG as a representative of the above interest groups should contact Tasha Owen at (208) 736-2190 or tasha.owen@deq.idaho.gov by 5 p.m. MDT on April 30, 2023.

DEQ seeks comment on proposed expedited settlement action and consent order with TC Hayden Properties, LLC

March 29. 2023

Contact: Troy Smith, IPDES Bureau Chief, troy.smith@deq.idaho.gov

BOISE—The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking public comment on a proposed settlement action and consent order with TC Hayden Properties, LLC for violations of the 2022 general permit for discharges from construction activities. 

TC Hayden Properties is the operator at the Wildcat Development in Hayden, Idaho, and was unpermitted at the time DEQ cited the violations. Coverage was later obtained under Permit IDR10C0D5. DEQ alleges the company failed to comply with all applicable conditions of the permit. DEQ prepared an expedited settlement agreement and consent order directing TC Hayden Properties to resolve the violations and either pay a civil penalty or request a compliance conference. TC Hayden Properties made payment in full for the civil penalty of $9,750 and signed the consent order.

The consent order is available for review at DEQ’s State Office (1410 N. Hilton St.) and on DEQ’s Public Comment Opportunities page. Written comments will be accepted through April 28, 2023, at 5 p.m. MDT. Submit comments electronically on DEQ’s website or by mail or email:

Troy Smith
IPDES Bureau Chief
1410 N. Hilton St. 
Boise, ID 83706 
troy.smith@deq.idaho.gov

Committee recommends $31 million to improve health of Coeur d’Alene Lake  

March 24, 2023

Contact: Dan McCracken, Coeur d’Alene Regional Office Administrator, Dan.McCracken@deq.idaho.gov

COEUR D’ALENE—The Coeur d’Alene Lake Advisory Committee on Thursday recommended $31 million for 19 projects that will help protect water quality in Coeur d’Alene Lake. 

This historic investment was made possible by Governor Brad Little’s Leading Idaho initiative, which directed millions of state and federal dollars to projects that would reduce phosphorus loading throughout the lake and its tributaries. 

“Coeur d’Alene Lake is the heart of North Idaho, driving the region’s tourism, economy, and outdoor recreation opportunities. Our continued investment into water quality improvement projects aims to protect this ‘gem’ for current and future generations to enjoy,” Governor Little said. “I applaud the good work of the committee, DEQ, National Academy of Sciences, Coeur d’Alene Tribe, and Kootenai County. Together, we will continue making positive advancements in the health of Coeur d’Alene Lake.” 

“These projects are critically important to the Coeur d’Alene community, and the scale of this work is what is necessary to reduce phosphate loading in the lake. Not only are we addressing the issues at hand, we are also preparing in a better way for issues that will emerge, and the effects will be seen for years,” said Shelley Austin, committee member and executive director of the Kootenai Environmental Alliance. 

“Our community uses and appreciates our lake and rivers, and these projects are substantial in improving our water quality. We should all be proud of this community commitment.  The State provided over $30 million and the governor appointed our committee of community members to recommend projects that will improve lake quality. We believe that these efforts will yield measurable and meaningful improvements in lake quality over the next three years and for years to come,” said Bruce Cyr, committee member and Coeur d’Alene Lake property owner. 

The committee considered three categories of funding to prioritize projects: (1) Previous Applications; (2) Wastewater Treatment Upgrades; and (3) 2022 National Academies of Sciences (NAS) recommendations. The final list will be presented to the Basin Advisory Group and DEQ Director for approval in early April. 

Previous Applications 

In December 2022, the committee recommended funding for ten phosphorus-reduction projects, totaling approximately $3.5 million. Yesterday’s action would provide an additional $1.5 million for nine projects that focus on stormwater management, habitat-friendly riverbank stabilization, sediment reduction, and roadway drainage enhancements.  

Wastewater Treatment Upgrades 

The committee also evaluated a list of wastewater project proposals, focusing on each project’s potential to reduce phosphorus discharge to the lake within a set timeframe established by federal law. The committee recommended $24 million in funding for projects that address wastewater treatment upgrades at the Page Wastewater Treatment plant and the Santa-Fernwood Wastewater facilities.  

National Academies of Sciences Recommendations 

The third category included projects that furthered the recommendations outlined in the 2022 National Academies of Sciences report. The committee recommended $2 million for projects that would fund a Science Coordination Team to guide future lake management efforts and work through the list of NAS recommendations, establish a nutrient assessment of the St. Joe River watershed and southern end of Coeur d’Alene Lake to identify sources of nutrient delivery to the lake, and create a lake-focused human health risk assessment to determine potential contaminant exposure at recreational areas at and around Coeur d’Alene Lake.  

DEQ seeks comment on draft water reuse permit renewal for Basic American Foods, Inc. – Rexburg Facility

March 23, 2023

Contact: Todd Higgins, Wastewater Reuse Permit Writer, todd.higgins@deq.idaho.gov

REXBURG – The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking comment on a draft water reuse permit renewal for Basic American Foods, Inc. – Rexburg Facility.

Basic American Foods is located in Rexburg, Idaho, and produces industrial wastewater that is pretreated and land applied. The draft reuse permit would add 11.1 acres to the existing Plant Farm located north of Rexburg for a total of 222.8 acres and add 72.6 acres to the existing Salem Farm located north of Sugar City for a total of 581 acres. The permit renewal will reauthorize operations for an additional six years.

The draft reuse permit establishes monitoring requirements, limits on nutrient and hydraulic loading, and conditions established by DEQ to protect public health and the environment. As part of the permitting process, the permittee was also required to show that its operation would not cause public health or environmental concerns.

The permit materials are available for public review at DEQ’s State Office (1410 North Hilton Street, Boise, Idaho 83706), DEQ’s Idaho Falls Regional Office (900 N. Skyline, Ste. B, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83402), and on DEQ’s Public Comment Opportunities page.

Written comments will be accepted through April 24, 2023, at 5 p.m. MDT. Submit comments electronically on DEQ’s website or by mail or email to:

Todd Higgins
1410 N. Hilton Street
Boise, ID 83706
todd.higgins@deq.idaho.gov

DEQ prepares IPDES preliminary draft permit for the city of Bovill

March 23, 2023

Contact: Triffie Ransom, IPDES Permit Writer, triffie.ransom@deq.idaho.gov

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is releasing an Idaho Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (IPDES) preliminary draft permit to the city of Bovill for preliminary review.

The facility has ten 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, go to the DEQ’s Newsroom page and click the Subscribe link.

DEQ seeks members for the Wood River Watershed Advisory Group 

March 22, 2023 

Contact: Tasha Owen, Water Quality Analyst, tasha.owen@deq.idaho.gov 

TWIN FALLS — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking representatives to fill five vacancies on the Wood River Watershed Advisory Group (WAG).

The Wood River WAG is a group of citizens from a diverse set of interests dedicated to successful restoration and protection of the health of the Big Wood River, Little Wood River, and Camas Creek watersheds. These watersheds cover Blaine, Camas, Gooding, and Lincoln counties, from which the WAG seeks to have representation.

The WAG is currently seeking representatives from the following interest areas:

  • Logging, timber, small business, industry, or hydropower
  • Confined Animal Feeding Operations or irrigated agriculture
  • Flood control
  • Municipalities, land planning, or local government
  • Conservation, multiple use, recreation, or tourism

The group meets quarterly, and members are asked to serve at least two-year terms. Responsibilities include working with DEQ on the following deliverables:

  • Developing water quality improvement plans known as total maximum daily loads for streams, lakes, and rivers with degraded water quality conditions within the watershed.
  • Helping identify contributing pollution sources in the watershed.
  • Recommending specific actions needed to effectively control sources of pollution to the water bodies.
  • Helping develop and implement a plan to meet water quality targets identified in the TMDLs.

Anyone interested in serving on the WAG as a representative of the above interest groups should contact Tasha Owen at (208) 736-2190 or tasha.owen@deq.idaho.gov by 5 p.m. on April 22, 2023 MDT.

The next WAG meeting is tentatively scheduled for April 26, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. MDT at the Wood River Canal Company (409 N Apple Street, Shoshone, Idaho). Anyone interested in joining the WAG is encouraged to attend.

DEQ announces public survey; three open houses on potential health risks at Gilmore townsite 

March 17, 2023

Contact: Kevin Kostka, Preliminary Assessment Program Coordinator, Kevin.Kostka@deq.idaho.gov 

LEMHI COUNTY — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is announcing the launch of a public survey and three open houses regarding the presence of lead and arsenic in soils at the Gilmore townsite. 

The voluntary survey is intended for individuals who own, use, or have interest in Gilmore, Idaho, and will focus on metals contamination in soils at the site and its surrounding lands. Participants’ answers will help partnering agencies understand community interest in and concerns about health risks, current and future land uses, and potential cleanup activities. 

The survey will be available between March 24 and April 17, 2023, on DEQ’s website (www.deq.idaho.gov/gilmore). Participants can respond online, by mail, or over the phone. 

Partnering agencies are also hosting three open houses in eastern Idaho. Representatives from DEQ, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, and federal agencies will be available to discuss Gilmore history, metals contamination, and health risks in and around the Gilmore site.  

The events are scheduled at the following locations and are free to the public. See DEQ’s Events web page for more information. 

  • Salmon, Idaho: March 27, 2023, 5 to 9 p.m. MDT, Idaho Department of Fish and Game Salmon Regional Office (99 US-93, Salmon, Idaho 83467) 
  • Leadore, Idaho: March 28, 2023, 5 to 9 p.m. MDT, Leadore Community Center (206 South Railroad Street, Leadore, Idaho 83464) 
  • Idaho Falls, Idaho: March 29, 2023, 5 to 9 p.m. MDT, DEQ Idaho Falls Regional Office (900 North Skyline Drive #B, Idaho Falls, Idaho, 83402) 

Background 

Lead contamination at Gilmore is the result of historic large-scale hard rock mining operations and wind and water erosion of mine waste. The mines on the hillsides above Gilmore operated in the early 1900s and primarily produced lead and silver ore. During the early years, processed ore was hauled over 80 miles via wagons pulled by horses or a steam-powered tractor. Later, ore was transported off the hillside by a half-mile long tramway that travelled through the townsite before emptying into waiting railroad cars. 

High concentrations of lead in the soil at the Gilmore townsite were found during DEQ sampling events in 2016 and 2017. At some locations, lead soil levels are more than 50 times greater than what is considered safe for residential areas. 

DEQ awards $130,254 to Murray Water Association in Shoshone County

March 17, 2023

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

SHOSHONE COUNTY — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today announced the award of $130,254 in drinking water construction assistance to Murray Water Association in Shoshone County, Idaho.

The funding will be used for the installation of two new wells and transmission piping.

The loan from DEQ’s State Revolving Loan Fund, which is capitalized annually by grants from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, provides this funding with no repayment obligation. The favorable loan terms represent a $218,076 savings to the community when compared to the average costs from municipal general obligation debt issuances.

DEQ awards $480,261 to Drake Subdivision Property Owners Association in Canyon County

March 17, 2023

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

CANYON COUNTY — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today announced the award of $480,261 in drinking water construction assistance to Drake Subdivision Property Owners Association in Canyon County, Idaho.

The funding will be used to drill two wells, replace water mains, and construct a new well house.

The assistance from DEQ’s State Revolving Loan Fund, which is capitalized annually by grants from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, provides this funding with no repayment obligation. The favorable loan terms represent a $804,071 savings to the community when compared to average costs for municipal general obligation debt issuances.

DEQ seeks comment on draft water reuse permit modification for city of Menan

March 16, 2023

Contact: Tyler Ayers, Water Quality Engineer, tyler.ayers@deq.idaho.gov 

MENAN – The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking comment on a draft water reuse permit modification for the city of Menan, Idaho.

The city currently operates a Class D municipal recycled water facility under Permit M-066-04 and applies approximately 15.4 million gallons of recycled water annually on 34 cropped acres. The city’s current permit expired on August 25, 2022, and was administratively extended in anticipation of the permit modification. The draft permit modification would reauthorize operations for an additional five years from the expiration date, to a total permit duration of ten years.

The draft reuse permit establishes monitoring requirements, limits on nutrient and hydraulic loading, and conditions established by DEQ to protect public health and the environment. As part of the permitting process, the permittee was also required to show that its operation would not cause public health or environmental concerns. 

The permit materials are available for public review at DEQ’s State Office (1410 North Hilton Street, Boise, Idaho 83706), DEQ’s Idaho Falls Regional Office (900 N. Skyline, Suite B, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83702), and on DEQ’s Public Comment Opportunities page. 

Written comments will be accepted through March 31, 2023, at 5 p.m. MDT. Submit comments electronically on DEQ’s website or by mail or email to:  Tyler Ayers 
900 N. Skyline, Suite B 
Idaho Falls, ID 83402 
tyler.ayers@deq.idaho.gov

DEQ seeks applications for fiscal year 2024 Agricultural Best Management Practices Grant Program 

March 15, 2023 

Contact: Julia Achabal, Surface Water Bureau Chief, Julia.Achabal@deq.idaho.gov

BOISE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) seeks applications for the fiscal year 2024 Agricultural Best Management Practices (BMP) Grant Program. 

The grant program is designed to support pollution reduction efforts statewide, including helping landowners modify their agricultural practices to improve water quality and meet the objectives of total maximum daily load requirements. 

Eligible projects must address agricultural or ranching BMPs and be ready to implement. Projects must also involve multiple partners and leverage other funding resources. 

Application Process 

Interested applicants should submit a completed budget and application template and provide supporting documentation including letters of recommendation and maps. Resources and instructions can be found on DEQ’s Nonpoint Source Subgrants in Idaho web page under the header “Important Dates and Other Information.” Email completed application materials to NPSGrants@deq.idaho.gov

Applications will be accepted from March 15 to April 15, 2023. 

DEQ seeks comment on draft water reuse permit renewal for CS Beef Packers, LLC

March 15, 2023

Contact: Todd Higgins, Wastewater Reuse Permit Writer, todd.higgins@deq.idaho.gov

BOISE – The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking comment on a draft water reuse permit renewal for CS Beef Packers, LLC.

CS Beef Packers is located south of Boise, Idaho, and produces industrial wastewater that is pretreated and land applied. The draft reuse permit would add 1,200 acres to the existing land application area for a total of 2,808.6 acres and reauthorize operations for an additional eight years.

The draft reuse permit establishes monitoring requirements, limits on nutrient and hydraulic loading, and conditions established by DEQ to protect public health and the environment. As part of the permitting process, the permittee was also required to show that its operation would not cause public health or environmental concerns.

The permit materials are available for public review at DEQ’s State Office (1410 North Hilton Street, Boise, Idaho 83706), DEQ’s Boise Regional Office (1445 North Orchard Street, Boise, Idaho 83706), and on DEQ’s Public Comment Opportunities page.

Written comments will be accepted through April 12, 2023, at 5 p.m. MDT. Submit comments electronically on DEQ’s website or by mail or email to:

Todd Higgins
1410 N. Hilton Street
Boise, ID 83706
todd.higgins@deq.idaho.gov

DEQ seeks comment on proposed expedited settlement action with Starr Corporation

March 9, 2023

Contact: Nicole Deinarowicz, IPDES Compliance and Enforcement Officer, nicole.deinarowicz@deq.idaho.gov 

BOISE—The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking comment on a proposed settlement action and consent order with Starr Corporation for violations of the 2022 Construction General Permit for Discharge Activities.

Starr Corporation obtained coverage under Permit IDR10C0FG as an operator at the Jerome Elementary School in Jerome, Idaho. DEQ alleges Starr Corporation failed to comply with all applicable conditions of the permit. DEQ prepared an expedited settlement agreement and consent order directing Starr Corporation to resolve the violations and either pay a civil penalty or request a compliance conference. Starr Corporation made payment in full for the civil penalty of $3,150 and signed the consent order.

The consent order is available for review at DEQ’s State Office (1410 N. Hilton St.) and on DEQ’s Public Comment Opportunities page. Written comments will be accepted through April 10, 2023, at 5 p.m. MDT. Submit comments electronically on DEQ’s website or by mail or email: 

Nicole Deinarowicz 
IPDES Compliance and Enforcement Officer 
1410 N. Hilton St. 
Boise, ID 83706 
nicole.deinarowicz@deq.idaho.gov 

DEQ awards nearly $108,000 to five drinking water and wastewater systems across Idaho

March 3, 2023

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

BOISE—The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today announced the award of $107,700 to five drinking water and wastewater systems to help the facilities evaluate system deficiencies and determine necessary upgrades, as part of Governor Brad Little’s “Leading Idaho” plan.

“Families, farmers, ranchers, and all Idaho residents rely on clean, efficient water and wastewater systems. These systems are not only a crucial part of our way of life, but our economy as well. Funding for these projects from my Leading Idaho plan aims to ensure that Idaho residents—especially those in our rural communities—can depend on our water and wastewater infrastructure for generations to come,” said Idaho Governor Brad Little.

Bailey Creek Homeowner’s Association, Inc. – Bailey Creek Homeowner’s Association, Inc. in Caribou County was awarded $20,000 to prepare a drinking water planning study to evaluate the current drinking water system and identify needed improvements. The total project cost is $40,000, and the remaining $20,000 will be funded by Bailey Creek Homeowner’s Association, Inc.

City of Basalt – The city of Basalt in Bingham County was awarded $12,000 to prepare a wastewater planning study to evaluate the current wastewater system and identify needed improvements. The total project cost is $24,000, and the remaining $12,000 will be funded by the city.

City of Dubois – The city of Dubois in Clark County was awarded $30,000 to prepare a wastewater planning study to evaluate the current wastewater system and identify needed improvements. The total project cost is $60,000, and the remaining $30,000 will be funded by the city.

Fairview Water District – Fairview Water District in Franklin County was awarded $20,000 to prepare a drinking water planning study to evaluate the current drinking water system and identify needed improvements. The total project cost is $40,000, and the remaining $20,000 will be funded by Fairview Water District.

Starweather Owners Association, Inc. – Starweather Owners Association, Inc. in Blaine County was awarded $25,700 to prepare a drinking water planning study and environmental review to evaluate the current drinking water system and identify needed improvements. The total project cost is $51,400, and the remaining $25,700 will be funded by Starweather Owners Association, Inc.

Background

DEQ’s Planning Grant Program provides assistance to eligible wastewater and drinking water systems. These grants are used to develop engineering reports identifying the most cost-effective, environmentally sound method of upgrading a system to achieve and maintain compliance with state and federal standards. Grants cover up to 50% of eligible planning costs, with the remaining cost is the grant recipient’s responsibility.

For more information about DEQ’s Planning Grant Program and to learn more about this year’s grant recipients, go to DEQ’s Facility Planning Grants page.

DEQ awards nearly $36 million to ten drinking water and wastewater systems across Idaho

March 2, 2023

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

BOISE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today announced the award of $35,250,951 in construction grants to ten drinking water and wastewater systems.  

These construction projects are funded from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds that Governor Brad Little directed to DEQ in 2022.

“Water is our most valuable resource, and we absolutely must keep up the infrastructure to ensure water is clean and plentiful for this generation and future ones. That is why we made historic investments in water quality and quantity this year as part of my ‘Leading Idaho’ plan,” Governor Little said. “These investments also could keep your property taxes low. Property taxes are determined locally but the investments we made in water and other infrastructure needs at the state level help relieve the burden on local government to cover costs of projects, improving the chances property owners won’t be burdened with the costs,” said Governor Little.

The following entities received funding:

City of Aberdeen – The city of Aberdeen in Bingham County was awarded $5,828,297 to perform wastewater system improvements, including installing a floating media integrated fixed fill activated sludge system, a flow sand filter for tertiary filtration, and a screw press for solids dewatering; adding a new electrical generator; and upgrading the supervisory control and data acquisition system.

City of Ashton – The city of Ashton in Fremont County was awarded $950,000 to construct a headworks building and replace the sewer lines.

Bruneau Water and Sewer District – Bruneau Water and Sewer District in Owyhee County was awarded $2,553,092 to upgrade their existing lift station, reconstruct and install high-density polyethylene lining on the north and south lagoons, install a disinfection system and reuse pump station, and conduct site improvements, including adding a structural canopy and fencing, grading, and removing biosolids.

City of Elk River – The city of Elk River in Clearwater County was awarded $3,034,208 to complete a closed-circuit television inspection, conduct collection surveying, improve the disinfection system, construct a new blower building, and remove biosolids.

Garfield Bay Water and Sewer District – Garfield Bay Water and Sewer District in Bonner County was awarded $1,277,162 to upgrade five sewer lift stations, install lift station standby power, extend sewer collection lines, and develop an additional wastewater reuse irrigation area.

City of Harrison – The city of Harrison in Kootenai County was awarded $6,567,348 to transition to application treatment, construct a new 4-inch parallel force main to the system’s wastewater treatment plant, upgrade the system’s existing parallel force main, and construct a new central lift station.

City of McCammon – The city of McCammon in Bannock County was awarded $2,741,323 to install a new water tank, upsize the main transmission line, install water meters, replace undersized water lines, and replace fire hydrants.

City of New Plymouth – The city of New Plymouth in Payette County was awarded $498,739 to line lagoon number 4 with a geomembrane lining system and conduct piping and control box improvements near lagoon number 4.

City of Nezperce – The city of Nezperce in Lewis County was awarded $7,955,944 for the implementation of wastewater reuse facilities, including installing pump stations, storage facilities, and irrigation systems.

City of Wilder – The city of Wilder in Canyon County was awarded $3,844,838 to aid in a variety of permitting efforts such as land acquisition, preliminary design, reuse permitting, and environmental determination.

Background

In 2022, the State of Idaho approved plans to roll out $300 million in water and wastewater infrastructure project funding, benefiting communities across Idaho through DEQ’s State Revolving Loan Fund program. This program provides low-interest loans and grants to qualified recipients to improve their drinking water and wastewater facilities. The criteria and list to expend the ARPA funds are listed at https://gov.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/deq-leading-idaho-water-projects_06-2022.pdf

These construction grants represent an estimated $57,106,895 savings to communities compared to average costs for municipal general obligation debt issuances. 

For more information about DEQ’s State Revolving Loan Fund Program and to learn more about this year’s funding recipients, go to DEQ’s Construction Loans page.

DEQ seeks comment on draft IPDES permit for the city of Lava Hot Springs

February 22, 2023

CONTACT: Triffie Ransom, Surface and Wastewater Division, Triffie.Ransom@deq.idaho.gov

LAVA HOT SPRINGS – The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) seeks comment on a draft Idaho Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (IPDES) permit for the city of Lava Hot Springs publicly owned treatment works (POTW).

The city applied for a wastewater discharge permit for its wastewater treatment facility, located at 9936 E. Maughan Road in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho.

The draft permit would authorize the discharge of treated municipal wastewater from October through March to the Portneuf 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 23 at 5 p.m. MST. The draft permit and fact sheet are available for public review at DEQ’s state office (1410 N. Hilton Street, Boise, Idaho 83706), DEQ’s Pocatello Regional Office (444 Hospital Way #300, Pocatello, Idaho 83201), and on DEQ’s website. A public meeting may be held, if requested in writing, by March 8, 2023.

Comments and questions regarding this process should be directed to Triffie Ransom or submitted via DEQ’s Public Comment Opportunities page. Comments should address water quality considerations, include supporting materials where available, and reference the city of Lava Hot Springs and permit number ID0021822.

Triffie Ransom
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
Surface and Wastewater Division
1410 N. Hilton Street
Boise, ID 83706
Triffie.Ransom@deq.idaho.gov

Submit requests for a public meeting electronically on DEQ’s website, by mail, or email to Amy Southern:

Amy Southern
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
Surface and Wastewater Division
1410 N. Hilton Street
Boise, ID 83706
Amy.Southern@deq.idaho.gov

DEQ awards nearly $52 million to six drinking water and wastewater systems across Idaho

February 3, 2023

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

BOISE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today announced the award of $51,335,442 in construction grants to six drinking water and wastewater systems.

These construction projects are funded from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds that Governor Brad Little directed to DEQ in 2022.

Water is our most valuable resource, and we absolutely must keep up the infrastructure to ensure water is clean and plentiful for this generation and future ones. That is why we made historic investments in water quality and quantity this year as part of my ‘Leading Idaho’ plan,” Governor Little said. “These investments also could keep your property taxes low. Property taxes are determined locally but the investments we made in water and other infrastructure needs at the state level help relieve the burden on local government to cover costs of projects, improving the chances property owners won’t be burdened with the costs,” said Governor Little.

City of American Falls – The city of American Falls in Power County was awarded $11,460,250 to construct a new well, install a water meter and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, and improve on their current water distribution system.

Carlin Bay Property Owners Association – Carlin Bay Property Owners Association in Kootenai County was awarded $1,814,678 to continue their existing drinking water improvements, including a new lake intake, constructing a new treatment plant and reservoir, conducting reservoir repairs, and improving distribution line and a pump station.

City of Franklin – The city of Preston in Franklin County was awarded $14,966,534 to continue constructing wastewater treatment plant improvements, including new headworks, flow equalization, a tertiary filtration system, improved secondary treatment and clarifiers, and a redundant treatment capacity.

City of Preston – The city of Preston in Franklin County was awarded $14,966,534 to continue their existing wastewater project consisting of the construction of treatment plant improvements including new headworks, flow equalization, a tertiary filtration system, and improved secondary treatment and clarifiers and a redundant treatment capacity.

City of Rupert – The city of Rupert in Minidoka County was awarded $16,056,272 to design and construct a membrane bio-reactor, secondary filtration, and a UV disinfection process. These improvements will update the facility from a class-B reuse facility to a class-A facility and provide additional redundancy.

Yellow Pine Water Users Association – Yellow Pine Water Users Association in Valley County was awarded $6,048,387 to complete phase one of their drinking water project. This phase consists of intake modifications, construction of a new water treatment facility, storage reservoir modifications, water main replacement, and easements.

Background

In 2022, the State of Idaho approved plans to roll out $300 million in water and wastewater infrastructure project funding, benefiting communities across Idaho through DEQ’s State Revolving Loan Fund program. This program provides low-interest loans and grants to qualified recipients to improve their drinking water and wastewater facilities. The criteria and list to expend the ARPA funds are listed at https://gov.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/deq-leading-idaho-water-projects_06-2022.pdf.

These construction grants represent an estimated $75,168,131 savings to communities compared to average costs for municipal general obligation debt issuances.
For more information about DEQ’s State Revolving Loan Fund Program and to learn more about this year’s funding recipients, go to DEQ’s Construction Loans page.

DEQ awards nearly $192,000 to six drinking water and wastewater systems across Idaho

February 1, 2023

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

BOISE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today announced the award of $191,300 to six drinking water and wastewater systems to help the facilities evaluate system deficiencies and determine necessary upgrades, as part of Governor Brad Little’s “Leading Idaho” plan.

Families, farmers, ranchers, and all Idaho residents rely on clean, efficient water and wastewater systems. These systems are not only a crucial part of our way of life, but our economy as well. Funding for these projects from my Leading Idaho plan aims to ensure that Idaho residents – especially those in our rural communities – can depend on our water and wastewater infrastructure for generations to come,” said Idaho Governor Brad Little.

The following facilities received funding;

City of Ashton – The city of Ashton in Fremont County was awarded $30,000 to prepare a drinking water planning study and environmental review to evaluate the current drinking water system and identify needed improvements. The total project cost is $60,000, and the remaining $30,000 will be funded by US Department of Agriculture (USDA) or the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Aspen Hollow Homeowner’s Association, Inc. – Aspen Hollow Homeowner’s Association, Inc. in Blaine County was awarded $35,000 to prepare a drinking water planning study and environmental review to evaluate the current drinking water system and identify needed improvements. The total project cost is $70,000, and the remaining $35,000 will be funded by Aspen Hollow Homeowner’s Association, Inc.

Curley Creek Water Association – Curley Creek Water Association in Boundary County was awarded $17,800 to prepare a drinking water planning study and environmental review to evaluate the current drinking water system and identify needed improvements. The total project cost is $35,600, and the remaining $17,800 will be funded by the USDA.

Kingston Water District – Kingston Water District in Shoshone County was awarded $48,500 to prepare a drinking water planning study to evaluate the current drinking water system and identify needed improvements. The total project cost is $97,000, and the remaining $48,500 will be funded by Kingston Water District.

City of Lava Hot Springs – The city of Lava Hot Springs in Bannock County was awarded $30,000 to prepare a wastewater planning study to evaluate the current wastewater system and identify needed improvements. The total project cost is $60,000, and the remaining $30,000 will be funded by the city.

Sagle Valley Water and Sewer District – Sagle Valley Water and Sewer District in Bonner County was awarded $30,000 to prepare a drinking water planning study to evaluate the current drinking water system and identify needed improvements. The total project cost is $60,000, and the remaining $30,000 will be funded by Sagle Valley Water and Sewer District.

Background

DEQ’s Planning Grant Program provides assistance to eligible wastewater and drinking water systems. These grants are used to develop engineering reports identifying the most cost-effective, environmentally sound method of upgrading a system to achieve and maintain compliance with state and federal standards. Grants cover up to 50% of eligible planning costs, with the remaining cost is the grant recipient’s responsibility.

For more information about DEQ’s Planning Grant Program and to learn more about this year’s grant recipients, go to DEQ’s Facility Planning Grants page.

DEQ seeks members for the Upper Snake Basin Advisory Group

January 31, 2023

Contact: Jake Barnes, Water Quality Analyst, Jake.Barnes@deq.idaho.gov

TWIN FALLS — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking representatives to fill two vacancies on the Upper Snake Basin Advisory Group (BAG).

The two vacancies include representation from the hydropower industry and the public at large.

The Upper Snake River BAG is comprised of citizens, appointed by DEQ’s director, that represent stakeholder groups from 19 counties in Southern Idaho. The BAG advises DEQ on water quality objectives within Idaho’s Upper Snake Basin and represents industries and interests directly affected by water quality programs within the basin.

The BAG meets as necessary to advise DEQ on the following matters:

  • Monitoring priorities 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 total maximum daily loads
  • Members to be appointed to Watershed Advisory Groups
  • Prioritize water quality 319 nonpoint source projects throughout the region

Members must have a demonstrated interest or expertise that will benefit the work of the group. Anyone interested in serving on the BAG as a representative of the above interest groups should contact Jake Barnes at (208) 736-2190 or jake.barnes@deq.idaho.gov by 5 pm on March 6, 2023.

DEQ seeks members for the Wood River Watershed Advisory Group

January 30, 2023

Contact: Jake Barnes, Water Quality Analyst, Jake.Barnes@deq.idaho.gov

TWIN FALLS — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking representatives to fill four vacancies on the Wood River Watershed Advisory Group (WAG).

The Wood River WAG is a group of citizens from a diverse set of interests dedicated to successful restoration and protection of the health of the Big Wood River, Little Wood River, and Camas Creek watersheds. These watersheds cover Blaine, Camas, Gooding, and Lincoln counties, from which the watershed advisory group seeks to have diverse representation.

The WAG is currently seeking representatives from the following interest areas:

  • Logging, timber, small business, industry, or hydropower
  • Confined Animal Feeding Operations or irrigated agriculture
  • Flood control
  • Municipalities, land planning, and local government

The group meets quarterly and members are asked to serve at least two-year terms. Responsibilities include working with DEQ on the following deliverables:

  • Developing water quality improvement plans known as total maximum daily loads for streams, lakes, and rivers with degraded water quality conditions within the watershed.
  • Helping identify contributing pollution sources in the watershed.
  • Recommending specific actions needed to effectively control sources of pollution to the waterbodies.
  • Helping develop and implement a plan to meet water quality targets identified in the TMDLs.

Anyone interested in serving on the WAG as a representative of the above interest groups should contact Jake Barnes at (208) 736-2190 or jake.barnes@deq.idaho.gov by 5 pm on March 6, 2023.

The next WAG meeting is scheduled for March 30, 2023, at 10 am at the Wood River Canal Company (409 N Apple Street, Shoshone, Idaho). Anyone interested in joining the WAG is encouraged to attend.

DEQ prepares IPDES preliminary draft permit for the Lava Hot Springs POTW

January 20, 2023

Contact: Triffie Ransom, IPDES Permit Writer, triffie.ransom@deq.idaho.gov

BOISE – The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is releasing an IPDES preliminary draft permit to the city of Lava Hot Springs 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, go to the DEQ’s Newsroom page and click the “Subscribe” link.