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DEQ seeks comment on proposed Idaho Power Company settlement


BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) — On Thursday, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) filed complaints in Ada, Gooding, Jerome, Owyhee, Power, Twin Falls, and Valley counties against Idaho Power Company (Idaho Power) for violations of the Clean Water Act at 15 hydroelectric projects located on the Snake River or its tributaries.

The complaints allege discharge of pollutants to waters of the United States without a permit in violation of the Clean Water Act as well as Idaho Code § 39-101, et seq. and IDAPA 58.01.25.

In January 2022, Idaho Power submitted a self-reporting document describing the potential of pH, temperature, and oil and grease discharges from normal operations at the facilities from non-contact cooling water along with discharges from equipment and floor drains. DEQ reviewed the reporting document and determined that the facilities identified in the report did not have Idaho Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (IPDES) permit coverage as required by law. As a result of the reporting document and negotiations with Idaho Power, DEQ is proceeding with civil complaints in county courts where the facility discharges are located.

In compliance with Idaho Code § 39-108(9) and IDAPA, DEQ is requesting public comment on the proposed settlement to the complaints.

The proposed settlement directs Idaho Power to submit applications for IPDES permits for the hydroelectric facilities and to comply with pH, temperature, and oil and grease effluent limits and monitoring requirements until IPDES applications are submitted. In addition, Idaho Power is required to pay a civil penalty of $72,870 for each hydroelectric facility named in the complaints.

Written comments on the proposed settlement, a court entered consent judgment, will be accepted through May 9, 2022, at 5:00 pm MDT. This proposed settlement may be amended or adjusted in the future, in which case, DEQ may provide for additional public comment.

The proposed settlement is available for review at DEQ’s State Office (1410 N. Hilton St, Boise ID) and on DEQ’s website.

Submit comments electronically on DEQ’s website or by mail or email:

Mary Anne Nelson
1410 N. Hilton St.
Boise, ID 83706

Article Topic Follows: Idaho

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