Friday, July 19, 2024

Permitting open for suction dredge mining

| June 4, 2024 1:00 AM

BOISE — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality has finalized the Idaho Pollutant Discharge Elimination System general permit for small suction dredge mining. 

Each permit will authorize the use of small suction dredges for mining operators throughout Idaho to discharge back into the waters of the United States. 

Each permit will identify the required limits for each pollutant of concern as well as monitoring and reporting requirements to ensure that each operation complies with the permits. 

Requirements for each permit include one intake nozzle size of 5 inches or less or multiple nozzles with a total diameter of 5 inches or less; an engine rated at 15 horsepower or less; and operated in Idaho Department of Environmental Quality’s open or allowed areas only. 

DEQ held a public comment period from March 28 through April 27. The final permit was issued May 24 and is effective June 21. Responses to comments are located in Appendix B of the fact sheet and resulting changes to the general permit or fact sheet are documented. The final materials are posted on DEQ’s permitting web page.

Under the terms of the permit, people affected by an IPDES general permit may not file a petition or otherwise challenge the conditions of a general permit in further DEQ proceedings. Instead, individuals may challenge the conditions of a general permit by filing an action in court or applying for an individual IPDES permit. 

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