Doug Schoene of Rainier Steel calls for more reinforcing rod for one of the giant tanks under construction in the new advanced treatment facility at the Coeur d’Alene Wastewater Treatment Plant on Wednesday. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)
Despite Idaho’s vaunted distaste for the federal government, it’s one of just four states where getting a permit for dumping pollutants into waterways requires dealing with the federal Environmental Protection Agency instead of the state. That’s changing under a law that quietly cleared the Idaho Legislature without a single opposing vote this year. But the change means Idaho will have to add an estimated 25 employees over the next eight years at the state Department of Environmental Quality – in a GOP-dominated state where lawmakers also spend lots of time about talking about shrinking government. “I have to suck it up and say yes, it’s worth it,” said former Idaho Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Post Falls, who pushed persistently for the move during his three terms in the Senate/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Do you agree that Idaho should control water pollution permitting, even though it means hiring 25 more state employees?