Protecting Public Health and the Environment.

Water Quality: Docket No. 58-0102-1702 - Pending Rule

Rulemaking initiated for administrative purposes and to revise Subsection 210.01, Criteria for Toxic Substances, by streamlining and reorganizing the table that contains criteria for protection of aquatic life and human health.

Status of Rulemaking

Pending rule adopted by Board on November 16, 2017. Final and effective upon adjournment of 2018 legislative session if approved by the Idaho Legislature.

November 2017 Board of Environmental Quality Meeting

Rulemaking Documents Required by Idaho Administrative Procedure Act

Overview

This rulemaking has been initiated for administrative purposes and to revise Subsection 210.01, Criteria for Toxic Substances, by streamlining and reorganizing the table that contains criteria for protection of aquatic life and human health.

Administrative Revisions

Water quality standards adopted and submitted to EPA since May 30, 2000, are not effective for federal Clean Water Act (CWA) purposes until EPA approves them (see 40 CFR 131.21). This is known as the Alaska Rule. DEQ proposes to add a new rule section setting out a rulemaking process which would retain the existing rule that continues to be effective for CWA purposes until EPA approves the rule revisions. Using this rulemaking process will allow the regulated community to stay informed of the status of rules effective for CWA purposes.

In addition, the proposal will clean up the water quality standards by deleting obsolete language in two definitions and by deleting Subsection 401.03. Subsection 401.03 is no longer necessary because total chlorine residual was adopted into Section 210 during previous rulemaking.

Streamlining Subsection 210.01, Criteria for Toxic Substances

The table in Subsection 210.01, Criteria for Toxic Substances, contains criteria for protection of aquatic life and human health. DEQ proposes to simplify and streamline the existing table by moving the information into two separate tables. One table will contain the criteria for protection of aquatic life and one table will contain the criteria for protection of human health. As part of this process, the existing table will be deleted.

By drafting two separate tables, Subsection 210.01 will become more manageable and easier to follow. The existing table contains approximately 100 rows for which there are no aquatic life criteria. By moving the criteria for aquatic life into a separate table, the aquatic life criteria table will become much shorter.  In addition, the compounds listed in both tables will be arranged alphabetically.

The proposed revisions are for organizational purposes only and are not substantive. Even though the existing table is struck out and the information contained in the two tables is underlined, this is simply a duplication of information that currently exists in the water quality standards. All criteria values remain the same.

After consideration of public comments, Section 007 has been revised. The remainder of the rule has been adopted as initially proposed. The rule is expected to be final and effective upon the conclusion of the 2018 legislative session if approved by the Legislature.

In addition, as a result of public comments received, the information regarding arsenic criteria effective for Clean Water Act (CWA) purposes has been revised. This notation is inserted in the Subsection 210.01 table immediately below the row that contains the arsenic criteria for protection of human health. While the information provided in the note box is not rule text, the revisions were included in the final proposal for consideration by the Idaho Board of Environmental Quality as part of the rulemaking record.

Note: In 2008, Idaho adopted 10 µg/L as its CWA arsenic criterion for both exposure through fish consumption only and exposure through drinking water+fish consumption, choosing the SDWA MCL due to concerns about background levels that exceed EPA’s 304(a) criteria (docket 58-0102-0801). EPA approved this action in 2010. In June 2015, Northwest Environmental Advocates challenged EPA’s 2010 approval. Court remanded action back to EPA. On September 15, 2016, EPA disapproved Idaho’s adoption of10 µg/L. Neither EPA nor the state of Idaho has promulgated replacement criteria. For more information, go here.

Public Comment Opportunities

Submit all written comments by mail, fax or e-mail to:

Paula Wilson
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
1410 N. Hilton, Boise, ID 83706
Fax: (208) 373-0481, paula.wilson@deq.idaho.gov

Comment Deadline
September 1, 2017
No public hearings were requested or held.

Written Public Comments

Submitted By Date Received
Idaho Association of Commerce & Industry (IACI)  08/31/17
Hecla 08/31/17
Idaho Mining Association (IMA) 09/01/17
J.R. Simplot Company 09/01/17
Joan Hobbs, Mountain Home 09/12/17

Negotiated Rulemaking

Negotiated rulemaking was not conducted. DEQ determined that negotiated rulemaking is not feasible due to the simple nature of this rulemaking.  The proposed revisions are for administrative and organizational purposes and are not substantive.


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Staff Contacts

Water Quality Standards Lead
Jason Pappani
DEQ State Office
Water Quality Division
1410 N. Hilton
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 373-0515
jason.pappani@deq.idaho.gov

Administrative Rules Coordinator
Paula Wilson
DEQ State Office
Attorney General's Office
1410 N. Hilton
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 373-0418
paula.wilson@deq.idaho.gov