News Releases By Date
Updated Municipal Wastewater Discharge Permits Proposed for Three North Idaho Cities
Release Date: 02/15/2007
Contact Information: Michael Lidgard, EPA/Seattle, 206-553-1755, firstname.lastname@example.org; Mark MacIntyre, EPA/Seattle, 206-553-7302, email@example.com
Phosphorus Reduction Expected to Help Spokane River Downstream
(Spokane, Wash. Feb. 15, 2007) The U.S. EPA has proposed to issue updated municipal wastewater discharge permits to the cities of Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and the Hayden Area Regional Sewer Board. This action is part of a larger cooperative effort being mounted by Idaho and Washington to protect Spokane River water quality.
EPA officials assert that the new proposed permits, drafted by the Agency under the federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), will significantly reduce the amount of phosphorus that each facility will be able to discharge to the Spokane River. They were designed and written to better protect water quality and human health by setting limits and conditions on pollutants each wastewater treatment plant can discharge to waters of the United States.
Excessive phosphorus supports algae growth, reduces the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water and generally degrades Spokane River water quality. Too much phosphorus in the river can affect both recreation and the well-being of fish and other aquatic life.
According to Mike Gearheard, Director of EPA’s office of Water and Watersheds, these new permits balance community development needs with long term water quality protection.
“This is a real step forward in our work to restore and protect the Spokane River,” Gearheard said. “If implemented as proposed, these new permits will reduce phosphorus and improve water quality in the Spokane River, while at the same time providing each facility with the flexibility they need to serve their growing communities.”
The Clean Water Act requires that all point sources discharging pollutants into waters of the United States must obtain an NPDES permit. By point sources, EPA means discrete conveyances such as pipes or man-made ditches. Some pollutants that may threaten public health and the nation's waters are: metals, human wastes, oil and grease, and pesticides, etc.
Mail Stop OWW-130
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Sixth Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101
EPA has also scheduled a public workshop & hearing on Wednesday, April 4, 2007, from 5:00 to 9:00 PM at:
1916 Lakewood Drive
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
Coeur d’Alene Regional Office
2110 Ironwood Pkwy
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
e-mail address for comments: Roger.Tinkey@deq.idaho.gov
Permit-Related Documents Available
The draft permit and fact sheet can also be found by visiting the Region 10 Water Permits website at:
or by contacting Mike Lidgard (2060-553-1755) or Brian Nickel (206-553-6251)
For more about the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting program:
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