The list no Idaho stream wants to be on

  Prodded by court order, the EPA has increased its official list of polluted streams and lakes in Idaho from 36 to 800. The agency had been relying on information compiled by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, but the Idaho Conservation League and Idaho Sportsmen's Coalition sued, claiming that hundreds of polluted waterways had been ignored. "We sued because the EPA rubber-stamped a bad list," said Glen Stewart, director of the Idaho Conservation League. U.S. District Judge William Dwyer agreed and ordered the EPA to draw up a more complete list that includes Forest Service findings of widespread silting from logging, road construction and farming. Nearly a quarter of all stream segments in the state made the new list. A month of public comment is expected to pare the total somewhat, but all waterways on the final list must comply with federal clean water laws, which are stricter than the state's. Armed with the new list, environmental groups then hope to go after individual polluters. Currently, Idaho law exempts nonpoint-source polluters such as farms and logging or mining operations from meeting state water-quality standards. For a draft copy of the list, contact EPA Region 10, 1200 Sixth Ave., Seattle, WA 98101 (206/553-8293).

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