The state has gained control of its water pollution management from the U.S. EPA
In an agreement with the U.S. EPA, the state of Idaho has gained control of its water pollution program. The agreement allowed Idaho to take full management of the program from the federal agency beginning July 1, 2018.
The agreement was executed when Scott Pruitt was still EPA administrator. Pruitt commented, “Congratulations to the state of Idaho. We are excited to sign this and look forward to working with Idaho as we go forward on these issues.”
“It’s good to have Idahoans making decisions about Idaho issues,” said Idaho Gov. C.L. Otter.
The implementation of the Clean Water Act in 1972 saw the U.S. EPA take control of water pollution programs nationwide. This included the creation of pollution control programs and setting discharge standards for industries and wastewater standards for municipalities.
Gradually, states were able to reclaim control of water pollution programs from EPA, with 46 states successfully meeting the agency’s standards to assume oversight. Now, with Idaho moving towards state control, the states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New Mexico remain the only states not responsible for their own water pollution programs.
Idaho’s effort to gain control from EPA reaches as far back as 2014 when the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) engaged in protracted public negotiations with the federal agency.
IDEQ Director John Tippets is optimistic about the department’s capabilities for keeping the state’s waters clean.
“I have no reservations about us having the people and the resources to be able to administer this program effectively and appropriately,” Tippets said.