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HB 113: Big Payette and Cascade Lakes Water Quality Act – 2021

Summary: HB 113 would establish two advisory councils to promote, protect and restore water quality in Big Payette and Cascade Lakes.

ICL's position: Support

Current Bill Status: Dead

Issue Areas: Lake Cascade, Payette Lake, Water Quality

Official Legislative Site

February 25, 2021 Update

Based on concerns that the proposed watershed council could possibly recommend drawing down Lake Cascade, the bill was pulled, and will receive no further consideration this year.

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Rep. Terry Gestrin (R-Donnelly) introduced the Big Payette and Cascade Lakes Water Quality Act. The bill would reauthorize a council that was created back in 1993, but has since expired, to promote water quality efforts in Payette Lake and would expand these efforts to Lake Cascade.

Both lakes are located in Valley County in West Central Idaho, and serve as the living, breathing heart of the region’s economy. Unfortunately, water quality concerns and increased development around the lakes contribute to annual algal outbreaks and other issues. In Lake Cascade, those outbreaks are toxic. So far, no blue-green toxic algae outbreaks have been reported in Payette Lake.

The council would serve in an advisory capacity to cities, counties, state and federal agencies, related to water quality, and would also promote public awareness and public involvement with regards to efforts to protect and restore water quality in these two lakes.