Idaho Senate OKs emergency water rights to clean up spills

January 20, 2020 GMT

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Legislation granting an emergency water right when crews are trying to clean up spills in Idaho waterways headed to lawmakers in the House on Monday.

The Senate voted 35-0 to approve the legislation that the state Department of Environmental Quality said is needed to prevent someone from contending their water right is being violated due to an emergency cleanup.

Emergency crews pulling contaminated water from rivers after such things as tanker trunk crashes is standard cleanup practice.

But removing that water could be violating the state’s strict water-rights laws where water distribution is closely monitored.