Idaho to take over regulating water pollution from EPA

Posted at 2:26 PM, Jun 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-06 00:08:38-04

Idaho will take over regulating pollution discharge into the state's lakes and rivers from the federal government.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt on Tuesday signed an agreement shifting control of permitting and enforcement aspects under the federal Clean Water Act to the state starting July 1. Pruitt signed the agreement at the Idaho statehouse with Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter.

Officials say a state-run program will be more responsive and have local experts better acquainted with Idaho making decisions.

State and federal officials say Idaho can't write permits that are less stringent than the EPA permits, and the EPA retains oversight of the program.

Idaho is one of only four states where federal authorities manage pollution discharge into surface waters. The others are: New Mexico, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.