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Emergency water rights bill heads to Idaho governor's desk

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Posted at 2:13 AM, Feb 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-05 04:13:48-05

BOISE, Idaho — Legislation granting an emergency water right when crews are trying to clean up spills in Idaho waterways is headed to the governor's desk.

The House voted 70-0 Tuesday to approve the measure the state Department of Environmental Quality says is needed to prevent someone from contending their water right is being violated due to an emergency cleanup. The Senate unanimously approved the measure last month.

Emergency crews pulling contaminated water from rivers after such things as tanker trunk crashes is standard cleanup practice. But removing that water could be violating the state’s strict water-rights laws where water distribution is closely monitored.