HB 183: Big Payette and Cascade Lakes Water Quality Act — 2023
ICL's position: Support
Current Bill Status: House Committee
Issue Areas: Algae, Clean Water, Payette Lake, Water Quality
March 2, 2023 Update
Based on unknown concerns the bill was sent back to the House Ways & Means Committee, and it is unknown if the issue will receive further consideration this year.
Rep. Britt Raybould (R-Rexburg) introduced the Big Payette Lakes Water Quality Act with the support of the Valley County Commission, City Council of McCall, and local community groups like United Payette.
The bill would reauthorize a council that was created back in 1993, but has since expired, to promote water quality efforts in Payette Lake.
Big and Little Payette Lakes are located in Valley County in West Central Idaho, and serve as the hub for the region’s economy, centered in the growing mountain town of McCall. The lakes and clean water are the primary drivers of the region’s economy. Unfortunately, water quality concerns and increased development around the lakes, population growth, increased sediment and pollution all contribute to annual outbreaks of algae and other water quality concerns. So far, no blue-green toxic algae outbreaks have been confirmed in Payette Lake, but it’s likely only a matter of time.
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 involvement with regards to efforts to protect and restore water quality in Big and Little Payette Lakes and their tributaries.