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DEQ postpones submission of Bruneau River Subbasin TMDL 

May 7, 2024 

Contact: Thea Wickersham, Water Quality Coordinator,

BOISE – The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is postponing the submission of a water quality improvement report for the Bruneau River Subbasin. 

The report, also known as a total maximum daily load (TMDL), outlines strategies to reduce E. coli contamination in Big Flat Creek, Deer Creek, and Three Creek in southwestern Idaho. Due to concerns raised during the public comment period, DEQ will begin collecting additional data and conducting further analysis. 

The TMDL was first made available for a 30-day public comment period in January 2024, in accordance with Idaho Code § 39-3611. The comment opportunity was extended for an additional 60 days in February 2024 and closed in April 2024. 

Public input focused on the plan’s impacts to grazing, stream permanence or intermittence, applicable beneficial uses, and data quality, including methodology, E. coli source, flow measurement, sample location, and insufficient data. The United States Bureau of Land Management also submitted a data correction for the 2018 Clover Creek report used in development of this draft TMDL.   

DEQ will work to address provisions in the Bruneau River Subbasin TMDL. Until the document is updated and submitted to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the assessment units will remain listed as impaired water bodies and included in Category 5 of the §303 (d) list of Idaho’s Integrated Report.  

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