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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Panhandle Health to rethink sewer rule

The Panhandle Health District has decided to start work on revisions to its rule limiting expansion of North Idaho cabins on old, non-compliant sewer systems, but the move won't help a Pullman resident who built a big new home on Lake Coeur d'Alene and now can't occupy it. Sen. Gary Schroeder, R-Moscow, who introduced legislation to eliminate the expansion limit - a move the health district said would undermine its authority to keep sewage out of North Idaho lakes and waterways - pulled his bill off a Senate committee agenda this week in favor of negotiations. "I'll wait and see, see if they resolve it," Schroeder said. "Obviously we expect them to protect the health and waterways, but there should be some flexibility to work through it."

The Panhandle Health District's board met late last week and decided to stick with its rule for now, which limits such expansions to 10 percent. But it also decided to launch a year-long, negotiated rule-making process to add some flexibility to the rule for owners of very small cabins who essentially were prohibited from expanding at all. Sen. Joyce Broadsword, R-Sagle, applauded the move, and said it addresses a concern she's heard from her constituents in North Idaho about the limit. You can read my full story here at

Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.