DEQ Seeks Public Comment on Rule Changes 

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality held a public meeting on Monday, April 18, to discuss proposed changes to Idaho's rules about permitting cyanide-leaching mining operations. The changes come in response to the signing into law of Senate Bill 1169, which transfers some of the authority in approving permits, and in requiring financial assurance of mining companies for environmental cleanup, from the DEQ to the Idaho Department of Lands. The proposed rule changes also affect the time lines for public comment on mining projects, tightening the total period from when an application is received, to when it is approved or declined, to a maximum of 180 days. Currently, the DEQ is seeking public comment on the proposed rule changes, and will hold six separate meetings in May to gather public comment on the negotiated changes. The deadline for written public comment on the initial draft (which can be downloaded at is April 27.

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