Federal Agencies Fail to review Idaho Clean Water Standards
Update May 15, 2013: By letter dated May 13, 2013 NWEA added additional claims to its lawsuit against EPA over its failure to consult under the Endangered Species Act on Idaho water quality standards.
Eighteen years ago the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality submitted changes to its water quality standards to EPA for approval. These standards, and changes made in the nearly two decades since then, involve everything from the temperature of Idaho waters to the allowable levels of toxic chemicals. Despite the clear responsibility for EPA to consult with the federal fish and wildlife agencies to ensure that these pollution levels will not jeopardize the existence of threatened and endangered species, EPA has not started or completed these consultations. Neither have the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service completed the consultations that EPA started. In December 2012, NWEA filed two notices of intent to sue the three federal agencies.