Idaho Dairies Won't Lose Permit If Caught Illegally Dumping Waste

Feb 3, 2015

Idaho has one of the largest dairy industries in the country.
Credit MHall209 / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho's $2.4 billion dairy industry is no longer at risk of losing its operating permits if caught illegally dumping waste into streams and waterways.

The Senate Agricultural Affairs Committee approved new rules Tuesday that would no longer allow the Idaho State Department of Agriculture to revoke a dairy facility's permit if caught illegally discharging wastewater or sewage. Instead, dairies would face a fine up to $10,000.

The rules are in compliance of a law that Idaho Republican lawmakers passed in 2014.

The committee's two Democrats opposed the rule, saying that department officials should have allowed feedback from the public while creating the rules.

The department says public comment wasn't needed because the rules mimic the law.