Protecting Public Health and the Environment.

Water Quality: Docket No. 58-0102-2001 Negotiated Rulemaking

Rulemaking initiated to (1) revise water quality standards based on stakeholder comments and concerns regarding the implementation of the bacteria criteria, and (2) delete obsolete rule language.

Status of Rulemaking

Proposed rule scheduled for publication in the Idaho Administrative Bulletin on September 2, 2020; comment deadline October 2, 2020.

Rulemaking Documents Required by Idaho Administrative Procedure Act

Overview

This rulemaking has been initiated to (1) revise water quality standards based on stakeholder comments and concerns regarding the implementation of the bacteria criteria, and (2) delete obsolete rule language. 

Address Concerns Regarding Implementation of Bacteria Criteria

During 2019 legislative review of pending rule docket 58-0102-1802, stakeholders raised concerns regarding the implementation of Idaho bacteria criteria as presented in the pending rule. On March 18, 2019, the House adopted House Concurrent Resolution No. 23 (HCR23) to reject Subsection 251.02, adopted as a pending rule under Docket No. 58-0102-1802. On March 19 2019, HCR23 was introduced in the Senate and referred to the Senate Health & Welfare Committee. HCR23 was not reported out of committee; the pending rule docket became final and effective on April 11, 2019. This rulemaking seeks to revise Idaho Water Quality Standards to address the stakeholders’ unresolved concerns.

This rulemaking will consider revisions to bacteria criteria language in Section 251 regarding the geometric mean criterion for E. coli and enterococci and whether to include data sufficiency clauses or statements addressing the minimum sample number for assessing compliance with the recreational criteria.  DEQ will consider revision of statistical threshold values (STV) as criteria. The STV is a concentration that is not to be exceeded more frequently than 10% of valid samples collected in a 30-day period. Stakeholders expressed concern with the use of the STV for determining beneficial use support. 

Delete Obsolete Rule Language

DEQ proposes to delete Subsection 260.02 including footnotes. Subsection 260.02, Variances from Water Quality Standards, Specific Variances, was adopted by the Idaho Board of Environmental Quality in 2000 and approved by the Idaho Legislature in 2001 (Docket No. 58-0102-0002). On May 29, 2003, DEQ submitted the final rule to EPA. On May 7, 2010, EPA disapproved the variance; therefore, Subsection 260.02 is not effective for Clean Water Act purposes and has been identified for deletion. 

Negotiated Rulemaking Meeting Schedule

No meeting scheduled.

Previous Meetings

June 11, 2020 - Agenda | Participant List
May 7, 2020 - Agenda | Participant List

Public Comment Opportunities

Submit all written comments by mail, fax or email to:

Paula Wilson 
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality 
1410 N. Hilton, Boise, ID 83706 
Fax: (208) 373-0481, paula.wilson@deq.idaho.gov

Rule Documents and Meeting Presentations Date Posted Date of Meeting Discussion Written Comment Deadline
Negotiated Draft Rule No. 2 7/24/20 NA

DEQ is not requesting public comments on this draft. The next comment period will commence upon publication of the proposed rule in the Idaho Administrative Bulletin on September 2, 2020.

Proposed rule comment deadline October 2, 2020.
Revision of Idaho Bacteria Criteria – DEQ PowerPoint Presentation June 11, 2020  6/12/20  6/11/20  6/23/20
Preliminary Draft Rule (Draft No. 1) 6/8/20 6/11/20 6/23/20
Revision of Bacteria Criteria – DEQ PowerPoint Presentation May 7, 2020 5/11/20 5/7/20 5/18/20
 DEQ did not draft a preliminary draft rule for public review prior to the first meeting. The first meeting has been scheduled for the purpose of discussing stakeholder concerns regarding the implementation of the bacteria criteria, gathering information, and setting a path forward.      

 

Written Public Comments
Comment Submitted By Date Received
Comment on Preliminary Draft Rule (Draft No. 1) Idaho Ground Water Appropriators (IGWA) 6/24/20
Comment on Preliminary Draft Rule (Draft No. 1) Association of Idaho Cities (AIC) 6/23/20
Comment on Preliminary Draft Rule (Draft No. 1) U.S. EPA Region 10 6/22/20
Comment on 5/7/20 meeting presentation U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 5/18/20
Comment on 5/7/20 meeting presentation U.S. EPA Region 10 5/15/20
Comment on 5/7/20 meeting presentation Association of Idaho Cities (AIC) 5/13/20

Staff Contacts

Surface Water Bureau Chief
Jason Pappani
DEQ State Office
Water Quality Division
1410 N. Hilton
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 373-0515
jason.pappani@deq.idaho.gov

Administrative Rules Coordinator
Paula Wilson
DEQ State Office
Attorney General's Office
1410 N. Hilton
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 373-0418
paula.wilson@deq.idaho.gov