About the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
To protect human health and the quality of Idaho’s air, land, and water.
An Idaho where the quality of our environment enhances healthy living and supports thriving communities.
DEQ is a state department created by the Idaho Environmental Protection and Health Act (Idaho Code Title 39) to ensure clean air, water, and land in the state and protect Idaho citizens from the adverse health impacts of pollution.
As a regulatory agency, DEQ enforces various state environmental regulations and administers a number of federal environmental protection laws including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. DEQ manages a broad range of activities including:
- Assessment of environmental problems
- Oversight of facilities that generate air, water, and hazardous and solid waste pollution
- Protection of air, land, and water quality
- Prevention of releases and cleanup of contaminated sites
- Education, outreach, and technical assistance to businesses, local government agencies, and interested citizens
The agency is committed to working in partnership with local communities, businesses, and citizens to identify and implement cost-effective environmental solutions.
DEQ Director's Office
Director Jess Byrne was appointed by Governor Brad Little in August 2020. He is responsible for leading the State’s efforts to protect the quality of Idaho’s air, land, and water. He also represents DEQ and the State on various boards, commissions, and councils. Director Byrne earned his bachelor of science in environmental health from Boise State University (BSU) in 1999. He received his master of public administration from BSU in 2004.
DEQ's Communications and Outreach Program, an arm of the director's office, assists in communicating DEQ's message to stakeholders, the regulated community, the news media, and the general public in a user-friendly way. Examples of outreach activities include information-sharing via the agency's website; developing and disseminating of written publications; issuing news releases on agency activities; participating in community events; presenting to school children, businesses, local and state leaders, and community groups; and providing technical and pollution prevention assistance visits to businesses and industries. Skilled technical writers/editors review documents to ensure that they are clear, concise, and accessible to present a professional image consistent with DEQ's mission.
Within the department are four divisions responsible for developing, administering, and enforcing environmental policies and for providing technical and administrative support. Division staff are housed in the department's state office. Learn more.
DEQ maintains regional offices in the following six cities: Boise, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Falls, Lewiston, Pocatello and Twin Falls. Three satellite offices are located in McCall, Grangeville, and Kellogg. Regional and satellite office staff are responsible for on-the-ground implementation of environmental programs. Learn more.
Board of Environmental Quality
The Board of Environmental Quality is a rulemaking and advisory body. Learn more.
Working at DEQ
DEQ employs a broad range of environmental professionals, ranging from analysts to scientists to engineers. DEQ also hires accounting, information technology, education and public outreach, human resources, and other administrative professionals to support core programs. Learn about job openings here.
Professional services purchased by DEQ typically call for a contractor’s time and effort and require special knowledge and skills in a particular discipline, science, or service. Learn about open bidding opportunities at DEQ here.
Emergency Response Overview
Emergency management activities in Idaho are coordinated by the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security. Each state agency is to appoint at least one representative to train, exercise and participate in the State Emergency Management Program to facilitate emergency support and logistics in response to emergencies and disasters. In addition, each agency must develop and maintain an emergency operations plan to carry out the agency's response and recovery support functions and a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) to address how the agency will provide essential services to citizens during response and recovery and return the agency to normal operations. Learn about DEQ's specific responsibilities here.
Strategic Plans and Performance Measurement Reports
Each year DEQ develops a strategic plan to identify the agency's goals and objectives for the next and four subsequent fiscal years and the strategies it will follow to achieve those goals and objectives. As required by state statute, the plan is submitted to the Legislature. An overview of DEQ's current goals and links to the agency's strategic plans since 2001 are available here.