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Butch Otter

Idaho seeks federal approval to regulate water pollution

Idaho wants to take over regulating pollution discharge into the state's lakes and rivers from the federal government.

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality on Wednesday submitted an application to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to shift control of permitting and enforcement aspects under the federal Clean Water Act to the state.

"It's a pretty big day for us," said Barry Burnell, administrator for the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality's Water Quality Division.

Idaho is one of only four states where federal authorities manage pollution discharge into surface waters, the others being New Mexico, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Idaho...