State Appeals Pollution Ruling
A First District judge threw out the new rules casting doubt on the state's role in certifying water quality permits for mining operations in the Silver Valley. He said the state violated its own procedures by not providing the public adequate opportunity to participate in the development of the standards.
The DEQ plans to contest the ruling and will seek reversal by the Idaho Supreme Court to assure the state's continuing role in protecting the quality of the state's water.
The EPA has been studying the mine waste issue in the Coeur d'Alene Basin for years and is expected to release a cleanup plan in early 2002.