BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) – On Thursday, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) filed lawsuits in Ada, Gooding, Jerome, Owyhee, Power, Twin Falls and Valley counties against Idaho Power Company (Idaho Power) for violation of the Clean Water Act at 15 hydroelectric projects located on the Snake River or its tributaries.
The complaints allege the discharge of pollutants into United States waters without a permit in violation of the Clean Water Act as well as Idaho Code § 39-101, et seq. and IDAPA 58.01.25.
In January 2022, Idaho Power submitted a self-declaration document outlining the potential for releases of pH, temperature, and oil and grease from normal facility operations from non-contact cooling water as well as releases equipment and floor drains. DEQ reviewed the report document and determined that the facilities identified in the report did not have Idaho Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (IPDES) permit coverage as required by law. As a result of the report document and negotiations with Idaho Power, DEQ is proceeding with civil lawsuits in the county courts where the releases from the facility are located.
Pursuant to Idaho Code § 39-108(9) and IDAPA 58.01.25.500.04., DEQ is seeking public comment on the proposed settlement of complaints.
The proposed settlement directs Idaho Power to submit applications for IPDES permits for hydroelectric facilities and to comply with pH, temperature, and oil and grease effluent limits and monitoring requirements until the IPDES requests are submitted. Additionally, Idaho Power is required to pay a civil penalty of $72,870 for each hydroelectric facility named in the complaints.
Written comments on the proposed settlement, a judgment rendered by the court on consent, will be accepted until May 9, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. MDT. This proposed settlement may be amended or adjusted in the future, in which case DEQ may provide for additional public comment.
The proposed settlement is available for review at DEQ’s state office (1410 N. Hilton St, Boise ID) and on DEQ’s website.
Submit your comments electronically on the DEQ website or by mail or email:
Marie Anne Nelson
1410 N.Hilton St.
Boise, ID 83706