In July, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) completed a multi-year transfer of authority from U.S. EPA after gaining approval to run the Idaho Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (IPDES) Program in 2018. Attaining primacy is a significant accomplishment for Idaho DEQ, as the transfer puts Idaho in line with 46 other states that manage the discharge of pollutants into local waterways. According to DEQ, the move ensures Idaho permittees have direct access to state permit writers who have local knowledge of Idaho’s surface waters.
Assumption of the state program began in 2014 when the Idaho Legislature directed DEQ to seek authorization for a state-operated program. DEQ submitted a primacy application in 2016, and EPA authorized the transfer of permitting authority two years later. Idaho issued its first IPDES permit in April 2019.
With the transfer of authority complete, DEQ is now responsible for permitting, compliance, inspections, and enforcement of discharge permits into Idaho waterways from industrial and municipal facilities, federal facilities, storm water systems, sewage sludge, and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System pretreatment program.
DEQ continues to work with facilities to ensure ongoing compliance and provides trainings for entities using the agency’s web-based permitting system.
Congratulations to Idaho DEQ for successfully taking on the point source discharge program!