On April 4, 2013, EPA issued an NPDES General Permit for small suction dredge operations in Idaho. To comply with the Clean Water Act, operators of small suction dredges must obtain NPDES permit coverage prior to operation. The general permit covers small suction dredges with an intake nozzle size of 5 inches in diameter or less and with equipment rated at 15 horsepower or less.
The general permit places conditions on the discharge of rock and sand from each mining operation to protect water quality and aquatic resources. These conditions include best management practices and prohibited areas.
The general permit is effective May 6, 2013 and will expire on April 30, 2018.