Idaho fire officials say cool, wet spring could produce a more normal fire season

Idaho News
By Clark Corbin; Idaho Capital Sun Firefighters respond to the Moonstruck Fire, which was contained in early September 2021 near Lake Lowell in Canyon County. (Courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management) Thanks to a cool, wet spring, the wildfire outlook for July across most of Idaho looks more normal than last year, officials told the Idaho State Board of Land Commissioners on Tuesday. Although the news is good in the short term, the risk will increase later in the summer, officials cautioned. “Looking at July, at least for Idaho, we are expecting near normal fire potential. It may even be on the lower end of normal because of the wet spring and cool spring we have had that has continued well into June,” said Jim Wallman, a meteorologist with…
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EPA to Issue PFAS Drinking Water Health Advisories Wednesday

Research
Bloomberg Law The EPA will issue four PFAS health advisories for drinking water on Wednesday, the agency’s top water official said. The agency will also propose a new lead and copper rule by the end of 2023, said Radhika Fox, assistant administrator for the Office of Water, speaking Monday at the American Water Works Association annual conference in San Antonio. The PFAS advisories will be based on the best available science regarding the safe lifetime exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances for “a range of populations,” Fox said. Fox said the advisories will include monitoring protocols for PFOA and PFOS—two of the most commonly studied PFAS—in drinking water. The EPA’s current health advisory for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water, issued in 2016, is 70 parts per trillion. An earlier…
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EPA moves to give states, tribes more power to protect water rights

National News
By Michael Phillis & Suman Naishadham; Associated Press ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Biden administration on Thursday proposed undoing a Trump-era rule that limited the power of states and Native American tribes to block energy projects like natural gas pipelines based on their potential to pollute rivers and streams. The Clean Water Act allows states and tribes to review what effect pipelines, dams and some other federally regulated projects might have on water quality within their borders. The Trump administration sought to streamline fossil fuel development and made it harder for local officials to block projects. The Biden administration’s proposed rule would shift power back to states, tribes and territories. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement that the agency’s draft regulation would empower local entities to…
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OPINION: Everyone can help keep pollution out of Payette Lake

Idaho News
The Star-News We are on the cusp of another robust summer season on Big Payette Lake. The Big Payette Lake Water Quality Council wants you to know that we have reintroduced Lake*A*Syst. This is a five-part packet on how to help prevent pollutants and contaminants from entering the lake. This pertains to homeowners, landscapers, builders/contractors and other activity that can impact the water quality from the shoreline. You can find these informative packets at https://bigpayettelake.org. The up-to-date information is divided into the following: Preventing Contamination of Drinking Water, Lawn and Garden, Roads and Driveways, Landscape and Construction and Stormwater Runoff. The website also has a Resource Guide for further access to more specific information. Now is the time to educate yourself on best practices to ensure Payette Lake’s beautiful waters.…
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‘Better,’ but not ‘great’: Cold spring likely to extend water for recreation, irrigation

Idaho News
By Erin Banks Rusby; Idaho Press Lucky Peak Lake and Lucky Peak Dam are seen from Lucky Peak Reservoir View Point east of Boise on Wednesday. Jake King/Idaho Press BOISE — Recreation enthusiasts are predicted to get more time than originally forecasted to enjoy Lucky Peak, Cascade, and Deadwood reservoirs this year before they are drawn down to meet irrigation demand. Thanks to a cold, wet spring, Lucky Peak is forecast to reach 70% to 75% capacity this summer, said Mike Meyers, watermaster for Water District 63, which takes direction from the Idaho Department of Water Resources. This translates to two extra weeks to enjoy boating and other water sports before additional water from the reservoir will need to start being released for irrigation purposes, pushing the drawdown date to mid-July, he said. In a…
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Our Gem: The Confluence Project is making science fun

Idaho News
Coeur d’Alene Press The Our Gem Collaboratives’ mission is to preserve lake health and protect water quality by promoting community awareness of local resources through education, outreach and stewardship. There is a unique program for high school students that embodies the kind of educational outreach the Our Gem Collaborative strives to achieve. This program not only immerses students in local water resource issues but allows them to get outside and actually experience their local environment. The Confluence Project (TCP) is a year-long program that connects students to North Idaho’s lakes, streams, mountains and aquifer through a combination of on-site studies and classroom work. There weren’t programs like this in schools in the past. This program is unique to North Idaho. The curriculum was created by graduate students at the University…
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Drought conditions improving with recent rainfalls

Idaho News
By Corey Evan; Independent Enterprise PAYETTE — On April 25, Payette County Emergency Manager Adam Gonzalez gave the Payette County Board of Commissioners an update on the present state of drought conditions in Payette County. At the board’s regular meeting, he said that recent rainfall had helped improve things over where the county stood a month prior. “There’s a lot of discussion about drought. I wanted to get ahead of the discussion a bit,” said Gonzalez to the board. “I know the Governor’s had some … discussion about it.” In discussions with Payette Irrigation District Water Master Neil Shippy, he said Shippy determined that the recent rainstorms have been a big boon for local water storage, especially the Cascade Reservoir. Gonzalez cited an Idaho SNOTEL Current Snow Water Equivalent report,…
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Celebrate Arbor Day with a Free Seedling from the Idaho Department of Lands

Idaho News
As part of the celebration of Arbor Day, Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) has partnered with the Idaho Forest Products Commission (IFPC) to provide free seedlings to the people of Idaho. On April 29, every IDL office throughout the state will offer seedlings while they last. Forests and trees play an important role, providing clean air, removing and store carbon dioxide, sending fresh oxygen into the air, providing habitat for wildlife, clean water through our watersheds, and opportunities for recreation.  63% of Idaho’s water comes from the forests. Forests that are harvested, are required by state code to be replanted. Last year IDL planted nearly 2 million seedlings after harvests and fires. For every tree harvested, seven seedlings are planted in its place. This year efforts are underway to plant…
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Fuel spills into Palouse River

Idaho News
By Anthony Kuipers; Moscow-Pullman Daily News Containment booms are seen Tuesday in the south fork of the Palouse River in Pullman, after approximately 1,200 gallons of "red dye" diesel spilled Monday from a failed above-ground fuel storage tank at Four Star Supply. Zach Wilkinson/Daily News. Cleanup efforts continued Tuesday after approximately 1,200 gallons of diesel spilled into the south fork of the Palouse River on Monday in Pullman. According to a Washington Department of Ecology news release, an above-ground fuel storage tank at Four Star Supply developed a crack and leaked the “red dye” diesel into the water. Fuel and sheening was observed 1,000 feet downriver from the source. Four Star Supply pumped remaining fuel from the tank, which has a 10,000-gallon capacity, and initiated nearby cleanup and protective measures…
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City Council OKs water system upgrade

Idaho News
By Elaine Williams; The Lewiston Tribune A reservoir and booster station that will improve fire protection in the area near Lewiston’s high school is moving forward. Lewiston’s City Council awarded a $4.1 million bid for the project to T Bailey Inc., of Anacortes, Wash., at its Monday meeting. The price includes a steel reservoir, potable water booster station, site development and the piping and other parts needed to connect it to the existing water system. Construction is expected to start this year and be finished next spring, said Dustin Johnson, Lewiston’s public works director. Once the upgrade is ready, a building moratorium for the neighborhood around the high school will be lifted, he said. The reservoir will be on city land north of the roundabout at Warner Avenue and 12th…
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