DEQ's Pocatello Region in southeastern Idaho includes the cities of Blackfoot, American Falls, Pocatello, Soda Springs, Preston, and Montpelier. This region occupies 11.7% of the geographical area of the state and is home to 11.9% of the state's population.
This portion of the state is known for phosphate mining and processing, fishing at Bear Lake, hot springs, and agricultural production of wheat, potatoes, and sugar beets. Two large water supply reservoirs dominate the northern portion of this region at the edge of the Snake River plain: the American Falls Reservoir on the Snake River and the Blackfoot Reservoir at the headwaters of the Blackfoot River. To the south, north-south running ridges and valleys dominate the landscape. Nestled in one of these valleys is Pocatello, Idaho's third largest city and a major railroad hub. This region's unique blend of urban, industrial, and rural character brings forth a variety of environmental protection challenges and opportunities.
Air Quality Plans & Reports
During winter months, the Intermountain West often experiences poor air quality when atmospheric inversions keep pollution closer to the ground. This is especially true of two areas in southeast Idaho: the Portneuf Valley and the Cache Valley. The Portneuf Valley (cities of Pocatello and Chubbuck) had been designated a nonattainment area for particulate matter (PM10), but is one of the few airsheds in Idaho to move from nonattainment status to attaiment status. The Cache Valley airshed, located in southeastern Idaho and northern Utah, experiences air stagnation events in the wintertime and has been designated a nonattainment area for small particulate matter (PM2.5). Efforts are underway to meet the federal standard for PM2.5 by January 1, 2015. Learn more.
Basin-Watershed Advisory Groups
Basin and Watershed Advisory Groups, BAGs and WAGs, are panels of citizens that advise DEQ on water quality objectives and provide input and guidance on development of water quality improvement plans for specific watershed within DEQ's Pocatello Region. Learn more.
Southeast Idaho Phosphate Mining
Southeastern Idaho is a major phosphate-producing region, and phosphate mining has been an important industry in the area since the early 20th century. Learn more.
Water Quality Plans & Reports
Subbasin assessments and surface water quality improvement plans have been developed for a number of water bodies in DEQ's Pocatello Region. In addition, numerous studies have been conducted of ground water resources in the area. Access the plans and reports here.