BOISE, ID - Federal authorities are taking comments -- and have set public meeting dates -- on Idaho's plan to take over regulating pollution discharge into the state's lakes and rivers.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it's accepting the comments as Idaho officials seek to shift control of permitting and enforcement aspects under the federal Clean Water Act to the state.
Meetings are set in September in Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, Boise, Lewiston and Coeur d'Alene.
If the authorization process moves forward, the Idaho Pollutant Discharge Elimination System in the summer of 2018 will phase in responsibility for issuing pollution discharge permits to cities, industrial businesses, mining operators, animal feedlots and others.
Idaho officials say a state-run program will have more responsive local experts better acquainted with Idaho making decisions.