Idaho Department of Environmental Quality

MPCA Photos / Flickr

The state’s Department of Environmental Quality issued advisories for harmful algae blooms at two more Idaho lakes. The DEQ put out alerts for both Lake Cascade and Lake Lowell. The department is using technology to try and catch blooms early.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

Wildfire smoke is continuing to foul air quality around much of the state. Monitoring sites in Twin Falls and Nampa both recorded levels of pollutants at an unhealthy level this week.

Credit Will Reid / Boise State Public Radio

State officials have issued warnings regarding high blue-green algae content in multiple ponds and lakes throughout Idaho.

Idaho Department of Environmental Quality

Fires across Idaho are burning and creating smoky conditions in some regions. But the smoke from Gem State fires is just one reason for the haze blanketing much of the state.


Christopher Irwin / Flickr

The death of a municipal worker in the small town of Dietrich has prompted city leaders to question the well-being of the town’s water supply.

Federal officials are proposing approving Idaho's request to loosen field burning rules that backers say offer more flexibility to disperse smoke away from people but that health advocates say will lead to breathing problems for some area residents.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

If you’re a city manager looking to renew your town’s sewer treatment plant permit, you’re going to have to wait a while to get a new one. The EPA administers permits for the state under the Clean Water Act.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The entire state of Idaho is under an air quality advisory - thanks to smoke from wildfires – for the first time since August of 2015.


Idaho wants to take over regulating pollution discharge into the state's lakes and rivers from the federal government.

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality on Wednesday submitted an application to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to take control of permitting and enforcement aspects under the federal Clean Water Act.

Idaho is one of four states where federal officials regulate pollution discharge into surface waters.

State officials say having Idaho run the program will have local experts better acquainted with Idaho making decisions.

Jennifer Dunaway / Flickr Creative Commons

Health officials say they have discovered E. coli bacteria in several private wells south of Nampa.

Southwest District Health says six out of 11 households tested positive for the bacteria. There have been no reports of illness connected to the outbreak.

The agency is working the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to determine the source of the contamination.

Residents within 1,000 feet of the contaminated wells have been notified of health risks.

Health officials are advising private well users to get their water tested.

Stephen Mitchell / Flickr Creative Commons

The contamination of drinking water in Flint, Michigan has brought the issue of lead poisoning to many people’s attention. The brown-colored water from the Flint River was not treated for lead, and children in the town are especially vulnerable to getting sick. The crisis in Michigan has caused drinking water regulators to take another look at their own systems – including in Idaho.
 

Idaho Department of Lands

A wildfire burning 40 miles northeast of Boise is moving away from structures, but continues to pour smoke into the Treasure Valley.

The 2,500-acre Walker Fire started Saturday on private property near Grimes Creek and Mack Creek. The fire is suspected to be human caused.

Burning eight miles southwest of Idaho City in Boise County, the fire has destroyed four structures, including three cabins.

The Idaho Department of Lands says some areas are still under evacuation:

U.S. Forest Service

Smoky skies, from dozens of western wildfires, have prompted the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to issue an air quality advisory for the entire state of Idaho.

Such advisories are typically issued for individual counties or cities.

IcaWise / Flickr Creative Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to release updated air quality standards for the Treasure Valley in the next two months.

The Idaho Statesman reports the Treasure Valley includes Boise, and Idaho Department of Environmental Quality regional air quality monitoring coordinator Mike Toole says ground-level ozone pollution in the area typically hits below the current standard of 75 parts per billion.

That standard is expected to decrease, but officials are unsure by how much.

Idaho National Laboratory / Flickr Creative Commons

Nuclear officials told a citizen's advisory board recently that a minor accident last year temporarily shut down work at a cleanup site in eastern Idaho and exposed a staffer to low levels of radiation.

Idaho Cleanup Project spokesman Mark Brown has said the accident Oct. 23 at the Idaho National Laboratory site came as workers repackaged nuclear waste.

Decontamination efforts delayed work for seven weeks, and one worker was exposed to a small amount radiation, but not enough cause health problems, Brown said April 8.

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