Waste Management & Remediation Division
DEQ is the state agency delegated responsibility by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement certain sections of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) in Idaho. RCRA was enacted by Congress in 1976 to regulate hazardous waste, solid waste, and storage tanks holding petroleum products or certain chemicals.
DEQ's Waste Management and Remediation Division is responsible for monitoring and controlling the generation, treatment, storage, and disposal of wastes in Idaho. The waste management group focuses on ensuring that wastes generated in or entering Idaho are managed and disposed in a manner protective of human health and the environment. On the remediation side, program resources are directed to responding to existing releases of hazardous substances to surface waters, ground water, or soils. Major areas of focus include:
DEQ's Hazardous Waste Program issues permits, oversees inspections of facilities that generate hazardous waste, provides technical assistance, and takes corrective action when necessary to assure that hazardous wastes are managed and disposed of properly and safely in Idaho. This program also oversees remediation of radioactive and hazardous wastes on the Idaho National Laboratory site in eastern Idaho.
In conjunction with counties and public health districts, DEQ's State Response Program oversees the development and operation of municipal and non-municipal solid waste disposal sites in Idaho. Because more than 95 percent of water used by households in Idaho comes from groundwater, it is very important that landfills in the state are carefully managed and regulated to assure protection of public health and the environment.
DEQ's State Response Program oversees remediation of sites contaminated by metals, petroleum leaking from underground storage tanks, and solvents entering soils and groundwater. The program also maintains a database of contaminated sites in Idaho and assists eligible entities in applying for federal grants to clean up contaminated sites known as Brownfields.
Mine Waste Sites
DEQ's Mine Waste Program works with EPA to implement cleanup and remediation activities in areas where mining activities have contaminated soils and surface waters. Priorities include cleanup of the Bunker Hill Superfund site and remediation of the Coeur d'Alene Basin in northern Idaho and investigating the impact of selinium contamination from historic mines in southeast Idaho.