6:13 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

EPA Says Idaho Must Clean Up The Air In The Silver Valley

File photo. Wood stoves are a major contributor to air pollution throughout the Northwest.

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 6:03 pm

The EPA has given the state of Idaho notice that a corner of the Idaho panhandle isn't meeting stricter new air quality standards. The agency intends to change that by forcing the state to reduce what are called “fine particulates” in the air.

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9:31 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Northwest Meth Houses To Get Scrubbed Under EPA Program

The Salishan public housing development in Tacoma is one of the sites that will be tested and cleaned through an EPA grant.
Tacoma Housing Authority

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 4:31 pm

Federal dollars meant to restore toxic areas like old factories, mines and gas stations are now going to clean up after another long-time industry: methamphetamine.

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7:02 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Farmers Urge EPA To 'Ditch' Proposed Clean Water Act Revisions

Angela Bailey farms decorative trees and shrubs near Gresham, Oregon.

Water is a common and often contentious issue in the West. But now, farmers across the country are also riled up because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants to revise the 1972 Clean Water Act.

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1:24 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Idaho Takes Over Water Pollution Permits

Idaho is starting the process of taking over wastewater permitting from the federal Environmental Protection Agency, under a law that quietly cleared the Idaho Legislature earlier this year.

2:46 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Idaho Ordered To Cut Carbon Pollution By A Third

Much of the power produced in Idaho is hydroelectric.
Credit Arbyreed / Flickr Creative Commons

The Obama Administration announced Monday that Idaho will have to cut its carbon pollutants by a third over the next 15 years.

The new standard is part of national initiative aimed at cutting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants as high as 40 percent in some states from their 2005 level.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Idaho's power sector emitted 1 million metric tons of carbon in 2012 and produced 4 million megawatt hours of energy. This means that the state's emission rate was about 340 pounds per megawatt hours.

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10:00 am
Wed May 14, 2014

How Pavement Is Being Used To Cleanup An Idaho Superfund Site

This street in Wallace, Idaho, was repaved last fall as part of the Superfund cleanup in the Coeur d'Alene Basin.
Credit EPA

The nice weather we've been having means work on the ground is resuming at one of the largest Superfund sites in the nation.

The EPA is trying to clear decades of mine pollution from Idaho's Coeur d'Alene River Basin and the upper reaches of the Spokane River. But this summer, managers are using an environmental remedy you might not expect: pavement.

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11:42 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Idaho Milk Processing Company To Pay $170,000 Fine

Credit Michael_McCullough / Flickr Creative Commons

A south-central Idaho milk processing company has agreed to pay a $170,000 fine for dumping wastewater with acidity levels high enough to damage Jerome's wastewater treatment plant.

The Times-News reports that the Environmental Protection Agency announced the agreement with Idaho Milk Products in a statement on Monday.

The agency says the company between March 2009 and July 2012 exceeded its acidity limit 138 times.

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10:23 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Idaho Fish Farm Settles Pollution Case With EPA

The farm raises Tilapia and American Bullfrogs.
Credit MHaze / Flickr Creative Commons

A Twin Falls fish and frog farm has agreed to pay a $25,000 fine as part to settle a case over illegal discharging of phosphorus into the Snake River.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced the settlement Tuesday with McCollum Enterprises, Limited Partnership, which operates the Canyon Springs Fish Farm.

Regulators accused the company of more than 550 violations of its discharge permit between June 2008 and March 2012.

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Idaho News
11:44 am
Wed October 2, 2013

A Unanimous Supreme Court Ruling, But Still No House For Idaho Couple

Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 1:13 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to begin its new term Monday – despite the federal government shutdown. The new round of legal cases will likely continue a pattern of closely divided rulings.

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9:18 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Tests On Idaho River Reveal Challenge Of Cleaning Up Waterways

Technicians contracted by the EPA are gather core samples of the Coeur d'Alene River bed.
Credit Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

A river basin cleanup in north Idaho is showing just how difficult it is to remove long-term pollution from Northwest waterways. This month, the EPA is running tests on layers of muck from the bottom of the Coeur d'Alene River. It’s downstream from a federal superfund site.

A technician lowers a 7-foot tube into the riverbed, like a straw into a piece of bread.

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Clean Water Act
10:32 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Idaho Sugar Company Fined For Water Quality Violation

Federal regulators say the Amalgamated Sugar Co. has agreed to pay $7,500 for violating the Clean Water Act at its facility in Paul.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced the enforcement action Monday.

EPA investigators say the company discharged stormwater without a permit last year. The agency cited the company for discharging 4,000 gallons of stormwater from a storage lagoon to a drainage and irrigation ditch that empties into the Snake River without permission in its permit.

4:04 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

EPA Reverses Course, Nixes Idaho Pollution Rule

Idaho water quality regulators must go back to the drawing board after the federal Environmental Protection Agency rejected a rule that allowed some pollution to be discharged into state waterways without a review.

In 2011, the EPA actually approved an Idaho Department of Environmental Quality rule exempting activities such as mining from review in some instances, provided their accompanying water pollution fell below a certain threshold.

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3:07 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Idaho Feedlot Reaches Settlement With EPA

Credit Mouldfish / Flickr Creative Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency has reached a settlement with an Idaho cattle feedlot accused of dumping pollutants into the Boise River.

EPA officials say that in 2011, W/T Land & Cattle dumped animal waste into the river during and after flood events without a permit. The feedlot is located on the banks of the river near Notus.

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8:29 am
Fri April 5, 2013

EPA Now Requires Idaho Dredge Mining Permit

Dredge mining on Idaho's Salmon River.
Credit Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

Anyone who wants to mine gold in Idaho streams with a suction dredge will need to get a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency. 

For years, people have flocked to a stretch of the Salmon River north of Riggins to mine for gold. Many of them have used a suction dredge to extract the precious metal from the gravel and silt on the river bottom. Until now, the EPA didn’t require these modern day prospectors to get permission if they used small-scale dredges.

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7:17 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Environmental Groups Seek Ban of Common Pesticide Chlorpyrifos

An apple orchard east of the Washington Cascades. The EPA banned home use of chlorpyrifos in 2001 because it can harm the nervous system. But it’s still commonly used on crops like wheat, alfalfa and apples in the Northwest.
Credit Flickr/agit-prop

Three environmental groups will make the case in court Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency has failed to act on their petition to the agency to ban a common pesticide, chlorpyrifos.  

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4:52 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Caldwell Frozen Foods Maker Fined By EPA

Rhodes International

The owners of a Caldwell frozen bread and cinnamon roll plant will pay the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency more than $84,000 for hazardous chemical violations.  

The EPA announced Monday that Rhodes International stored large amounts of anhydrous ammonia at its Caldwell facility without proper reporting to public safety officials.  The chemical is a toxic gas that can cause serious injury or death. 

10:23 am
Thu March 22, 2012

Court Decides Idaho Property Rights Case On Narrow Grounds

Mike and Chantell Sackett imagine a rustic, three-bedroom A-frame, with views of Priest Lake and the rugged landscape that surrounds it. But the EPA told them in 2007 that because their plot is designated as a wetland, they could face steep fines for building.

The coupled hired engineers who dispute that finding. But they never had a chance to argue that point. In an interview last fall, Chantell Sackett said the case comes down to this exchange with a EPA manager.

"I said, 'So, why would I stop building my house? She said, 'Because we told you to.'"

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4:46 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

North Idaho Couple Celebrates Property Rights Victory

Chantell and Mike Sackett say the EPA violated their right to due process when it said they were building a house on a wetland and ordered them to restore the land.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

A north Idaho couple is celebrating a major legal victory at the nation's highest court. Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Mike and Chantell Sackett have the right to challenge a decision by federal regulators that their property is a protected wetland. 

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