Saturday, February 14, 2015

Middleton Withdraws Appeal, Allowing Dixie Drain Project to Move Forward

Posted By on Sat, Feb 14, 2015 at 10:33 AM

The Dixie Drain uses a three-phase process to remove phosphorous from the Boise River before it reaches the Snake River.
  • The Dixie Drain uses a three-phase process to remove phosphorous from the Boise River before it reaches the Snake River.

A treatment system meant to keep the Boise and Snake rivers clean is back on track after the city of Middleton withdrew its appeal of a conditional use permit for the so-called Dixie Drain Phosphorous Offset Project.

Located near Parma, the Dixie Drain is intended to remove phosphorous from the Boise River before its confluence with the Snake River by diverting water into a three-phase treatment facility. Water flowing out of the drain would help Boise and surrounding communities better meet the standards of the Clean Water Act.

The cities of Greenleaf and Middleton both appealed Boise's application for a conditional use permit, alleging that the project would impact their ability to grow and raising concerns that excess downstream phosphorous would lead to tighter restrictions from the Environmental Protection Agency.

They also took aim at the project's cost, which was initially expected to be $12 million. The city of Boise agreed to assist both cities with upgrades to their wastewater treatment plants in an agreement to drop their appeals against the project. Greenleaf gave its OK to the Dixie Drain in late January, but Middleton officials waited until this week to sign off on the agreement. A final cost figure, including the Greenleaf and Middleton upgrades, has yet to be released.

"Residents of both cities will benefit from the agreement. Middleton appreciates Boise's effort to recognize the impact of Boise's permits and projects on water quality near Middleton," wrote Middleton Mayor Darin Taylor in a press release.

Now that the Middleton has withdrawn its appeal, the Dixie Drain project is set to move forward with construction in the early spring.

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