Ada County must comply with Clean Water Act at Expo Idaho and Les Bois

In an April 17 letter sent to the Ada County Commission, Idaho Rivers United asked for immediate action to remedy past and ongoing violations of the Clean Water Act at Expo Idaho and Les Bois Park.

“We asked the county to apply immediately for storm water discharge and confined animal feeding operation permits,” said Boise Campaign Coordinator Liz Paul. “Storm water is filthy and pollutes the Boise River. While Ada County has some state-of-the-art storm water management practices in place at Expo Idaho, it is violating the Clean Water Act because it doesn’t have a permit like everyone else in the Boise urban area.”

IRU’s letter specifically asks Ada County to apply to the Environmental Protection Agency for a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to discharge storm water into the Boise River and for a NPDES permit to operate a Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO).

Ada County owns more than 300 acres within Garden City where Expo Idaho, home to the Western Idaho State Fair, Hawk Stadium, Les Bois Park and associated stables and facilities, is located. Storm water is collected from parking lots, roads, roofs and other areas of the county property and conveyed to the Boise River without required permitting. 

Les Bois Park is approximately 70 acres within the larger 300 acre Expo Idaho and includes stables, arenas and a race track. Facilities that have 500 or more horses on site for more than 45 days each year are considered CAFOs under EPA regulations. If they discharge water into a public waterway, as Les Bois Park does, the owner must obtain an NPDES permit.