The Idaho House has voted unanimously, 62-0, in favor of HB 406, the measure from IACI to have the state take over primacy for wastewater permitting under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, or NPDES. Floor sponsor Rep. Jason Monks, R-Meridian, touted the “local control and more flexibility that is always inherent when we have a state agency there.” He noted that by 2022, the bill contemplates that the state DEQ, which would take over the program from the EPA, would need 25 additional full-time employees.
Rep. Darrell Bolz, R-Caldwell, said, “This is not a new issue.” Lawmakers contemplated the move in past years, but the economic downturn made funding impossible, he said. “I’m very appreciative of the fact that this bill has been brought before us and has a phase-in approach.” The bill now moves to the Senate side of the Capitol.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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