DEQ is required by section 303(e) of the Clean Water Act to develop a continuing planning process (CPP) that describes the ongoing processes and planning requirements of the state’s water quality management plan (WQMP). The WQMP is not a single plan or document but rather a compilation of the guidance and programs DEQ uses to implement Clean Water Act requirements. The WQMP is discussed in more detail below. While the WQMP focuses on program implementation, the CPP encompasses the broader picture—it includes the WQMP but also looks includes how decisions are made, how programs relate, and how the public is involved.
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The Continuous Planning Process (CPP) provides a broad overview of how the state’s water resources are managed. The CPP is a process that evolves as circumstances change.
Laws, Rules, and Guidance – Idaho’s commitment to water quality protection is articulated in Title 39 of the Environmental Protection and Health Act of 1972 and codified in Idaho’s Administrative Rules. For more information, visit DEQ’s Laws, Guidance, and Orders webpage.
Water Quality Programs – DEQ is responsible for ensuring that the state’s surface water, ground water, wastewater, and drinking water resources meet state water quality standards and federal requirements. For more information about DEQ’s water quality programs, visit the Water Quality Division page.
Monitoring and Assessment – DEQ continually monitors and assesses the quality of the state’s rivers, streams, lakes, reservoirs, ground water, and drinking water sources. This information is used to comply with federal reporting requirements and to make decisions regarding water quality management. For more information, see DEQ’s pages on drinking water monitoring and reporting, ground water monitoring, source water assessments, and surface water monitoring and assessment.
Implementation – DEQ uses a variety of tools to preserve and enhance water quality. These tools fall into three categories: permitting, preservation/restoration, and compliance/enforcement. See the individual water quality programs for more specific information regarding implementation activities.
Planning – Since circumstances constantly change, planning is a constant process. While some plans or planning processes are required by state (e.g., DEQ’s five-year strategic plan) or federal (e.g., WQMP, CPP) law, DEQ’s ongoing planning is more a matter of good policy than simply fulfilling legal obligations.
Public Involvement – The public can become involved in DEQ’s water quality management process by simply keeping informed, serving on a committee, participating in rulemaking, monitoring, assessment, and implementation and restoration activities. See DEQ’s public involvement webpage for more information.