EPA TO WITHDRAW APPROVAL OF IDAHO ARSENIC STANDARD

In a federal court-signed order on June 7, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agreed to retract its 2010 approval of Idaho arsenic standard for water quality. The lawsuit, filed by the Portland, OR-based Northwest Environmental Advocates last year, challenged EPA’s approval of standards because they failed to protect human health from the adverse effects of arsenic in fish and drinking water. The court order requires EPA to repeal its previous approval by September […]

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Lawsuit Seeks Reduced Arsenic in Idaho Waters

NWEA sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Thursday over its 2010 approval of Idaho’s water quality standards for arsenic.  The levels approved by EPA are up to 1,000 times more than EPA has determined are safe for people to consume through eating fish and drinking water.  The complaint can be found here. Idaho had chosen to use EPA’s standards from the Safe Drinking Water Act instead of EPA’s recommendations under the Clean Water Act, resulting […]

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Feds find Idaho Toxic Standards Pose Jeopardy to Salmon

In response to a lawsuit filed by NWEA in June 2013, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on May 7, 2014 issued a biological opinion (“BiOp”) finding Idaho toxic standards pose jeopardy to salmon and other threatened and endangered species. The standards in question were first submitted by Idaho in 1994 and approved by EPA in 1996. As far back as 2002, NMFS and EPA had concluded that some of the toxics standards were inadequate […]

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Lawsuit on Idaho Water Quality Standards Expanded to Include EPA

On September 24, NWEA amended its lawsuit concerning Idaho’s water quality standards against federal fish and wildlife agencies to include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Consistent with two notice letters sent to EPA, the lawsuit alleges that EPA failed to consult with the fish and wildlife agencies under the Endangered Species Act for water quality standards dating back to over 17 years ago.  At issue are standards for many different types of pollutants, from temperature […]

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Lawsuit Filed over Idaho Toxics

NWEA filed a lawsuit over Idaho toxics standards because a 17 year delay by federal fish and wildlife agencies in reviewing the state’s water quality standards is unlawful. The lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, filed June 14, claims the agencies have unreasonably delayed taking action under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). NWEA’s case points out that the agencies determined as long ago as 2002 that Idaho’s […]

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Idaho Water Quality Standards Subject to Pending Legal Action

Federal Agencies Fail to review Idaho Clean Water Standards [box] 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. [/box] 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 […]

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