New study of Lake Coeur d’Alene shows water quality gradually improving

Idaho News
Spokane Public Radio The new study says heavy metals, phosphorus levels are steadily decreasing. Doug Nadvornick/Spokane Public Radio A National Academy of Sciences draft report concludes the quality of the water in Lake Coeur d’Alene has improved over the years. The report was shared this week at a symposium in Coeur d’Alene. Dan McCracken from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality says the study found that the main sources of pollution — heavy metals and phosphorus — are entering the lake at lower levels than in the past. “Although we are still a long ways away from where we want to be, we’re starting to see some water quality improvements, just in the last five-to-10 years. Metals loading, coming from the upper Coeur d’Alene River, has consistently been improving since…
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Feds restore WA water quality standards for chemical discharges

National News
By Isabella Breda; The Spokesman Review SEATTLE - In a reversal of Trump administration policies, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week reinstated federal water quality standards for chemicals discharged into Washington state waterways. The final rule signed Monday would ensure polluters stay within federally established levels of chemicals or conditions in a body of water that are not expected to cause adverse health effects. Through the years, the water quality standard for polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs — chemicals found in dyes, paint, building materials, coolants and other products — have been a point of contention. Industry leaders, like paper and pulp manufacturers, previously argued there was no technology available to bring wastewater discharge of PCBs to the low levels that were required. Sometimes these standards are aspirational, said Bill…
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Soil and Water Conservation Commission eyes making grant program permanent

Idaho News
By Brad Carlson; Capital Press Concrete re-lining work on the upper New York Canal in central Boise. Boise Project Board of Control BOISE — The Idaho Soil and Water Conservation Commission plans to ask the Legislature during next year's session to make a temporary grant program permanent. The 2022 Legislature restarted the commission’s Water Quality Program for Agriculture by approving $5 million. The commission this year issued grants for 47 projects worth about $18.5 million when matching funds are included, said Delwyne Trefz, the administrator. The commission received 93 grant applications seeking $12 million. The projects were valued at more than $30 million when matching funds are included, he said. “The state was going to get a good bang for its buck,” Trefz said. “We’re going to go back and…
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PRESS RELEASE: BLM conservation easement enhances outdoor recreation, helps protect wildlife habitat and water quality

Idaho News
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) – The Bureau of Land Management has purchased a conservation easement that enhances public access to outdoor recreation opportunities and helps protect important mule deer habitat and water quality in the South Fork of the Snake River corridor. The BLM purchased the 154-acre conservation easement on the Alan Lynn Davis property from the Teton Regional Land Trust using monies from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.  The Alan Lynn Davis property is located on the north side of the South Fork of the Snake River in Jefferson County near Ririe, Idaho. The property is within the BLM’s Snake River Area of Critical Environmental Concern and Special Recreation Management Area. BLM-managed public lands are adjacent to the property on the east and west sides. The BLM’s acquisition…
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The climate crisis in Idaho: Experts share environmental and health concerns

Idaho News, Research
By Hanalei Potempa; The Arbiter In Idaho, the negative impacts of the changing climate are becoming more apparent. Climate change is not just one problem. The issue represents how the earth’s climate system is acting differently than how it has been operating for a very long time. It is a complete systemic change resulting from problems happening all over the world, and it affects each place in a different way. “What climate change has done is it has thrown a really big wrench into our ability to predict what’s going to happen in the future given how things have looked in the past,” said Dr. Chris Torres, an environmental studies professor at Boise State. In Idaho, changing climate conditions have caused rising concerns for consistent water sources for residential and…
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