Protecting Public Health and the Environment.

Waste Management and Remediation

DEQ's Waste Management and Remediation Division is responsible for monitoring and controlling the generation, treatment, storage, and disposal of wastes in Idaho. The waste management group focuses on ensuring that wastes generated in or entering Idaho are managed and disposed in a manner protective of human health and the environment. On the remediation side, program resources are directed to responding to releases of hazardous substances to surface waters, ground water, or soils.


The federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) was enacted by Congress in 1976 to achieve the following primary goals:

  • Protect human health and the environment from the potential hazards of waste disposal.
  • Conserve energy and natural resources.
  • Reduce the amount of waste generated.
  • Ensure that wastes are managed in an environmentally sound manner.

RCRA is comprised of the following three interrelated programs:

  • Hazardous Waste (Subtitle C)—Manages hazardous waste from the time it is generated until it is disposed (referred to as cradle to grave).
  • Solid Waste (Subtitle D)—Sets criteria for municipal solid waste and other nonhazardous waste disposal facilities and prohibits open dumping of solid waste.
  • Underground Storage Tank (Subtitle I)—Regulates underground storage tanks storing petroleum or other hazardous substances.

State Primacy

EPA encourages states to implement their own waste management programs and receive primacy over waste issues. To receive state primacy, states must develop statutes and regulations that are at least as stringent as the federal acts and regulations. Idaho has adopted statutes and rules governing management of certain aspects of hazardous and solid waste and underground storage tanks.

DEQ is the state agency delegated responsibility by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement RCRA in Idaho. With only a few exceptions, Idaho has incorporated RCRA by reference into the state's Rules and Standards for Hazardous Waste (IDAPA 58.01.05).

Hazardous Waste in Idaho

Hazardous waste has properties that make it dangerous or potentially harmful to human health or the environment. Hazardous wastes can be by-products of manufacturing processes or simply discarded commercial products. By law, facilities that generate waste must determine if any of their wastes are hazardous and, if so, manage and dispose of them properly. Learn more.

Solid Waste

Solid waste consists of garbage or refuse, sludge from a wastewater treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility and other discarded material including solid, liquid, semisolid, or contained gaseous material resulting from industrial, commercial, mining, and agricultural operations and from community activities. DEQ is designated as the state agency responsible for regulating most solid waste management facilities in Idaho, including landfills, incinerators, transfer stations, processing facilities, and wood or mill yard debris facilities. Learn more.

Storage Tanks in Idaho

Storage tanks are used to store petroleum or certain other hazardous liquids. Idaho has about 3,500 regulated underground storage tanks (USTs); there are approximately 595,000 nationwide. Leaking USTs can pose a serious environmental threat if the stored petroleum or other hazardous substance seeps into the soil and contaminates ground water, which is the source of most of Idaho's drinking water. Learn more.

Recycling in Idaho

Recycling is the process of transforming waste materials into usable resources. It is preferable to treatment and disposal because it helps conserve energy and reduce waste. Recycling, like garbage collection in Idaho, is an optional service provided at the discretion of local governments or by private recycling companies. Although the state has no mandated waste diversion goal, pollution prevention and recycling are supported and encouraged through public education and outreach activities conducted by DEQ. Learn more.

Waste Remediation Activities

Waste remediation is a process in which contaminants are removed or neutralized so that they cannot cause harm. It may entail actively removing the waste, which is generally preferable, or isolating or containing the waste on site because it too costly or impractical to remove. Learn more.

Brownfields in Idaho

Brownfields are vacant or underutilized properties where redevelopment or reuse is complicated by actual or perceived environmental contamination. Brownfields revitalization is a process in which contamination at brownfields sites is addressed so that the sites can be redeveloped. Revitalization of brownfields properties can have both environmental and economic benefits for the sites and the communities in which they are located. Learn more.

DEQ State Office - Waste Management & Remediation Division

1410 N. Hilton
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 373-0502

Staff Contacts

Waste Management & Remediation Division Administrator
Michael McCurdy
(208) 373-0188

Hazardous Waste Bureau Chief
Natalie Creed
(208) 373-0506

Assessment and Compliance Bureau Chief
Dean Ehlert
(208) 373-0416

Remediation Bureau Chief
Dana Swift
(208) 373-0296