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Groups: Restore Idaho water-quality monitoring

State regulators, environmentalists and cities are pushing for Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter to restore $350,000 in funding to resume monitoring pollution in Idaho’s lakes and rivers.

They say eliminating the cash for a third straight year could add to regulatory hurdles for business and dent the economy.

The Department of Environmental Quality hasn’t conducted water-quality monitoring since 2008, as the state wrestled with budget woes.

Another expected shortfall could be as high as $340 million, so restoring the money won’t be easy.

But DEQ administrator Toni Hardesty, an Otter appointee, told the Republican chief executive in budget documents obtained by The Associated Press that failing to assess Idaho’s waterways again could hamper industry and agriculture in getting federal pollution permits for their projects.

About The Associated Press