Marcia Franklin talks with Toni Hardesty, the director of the Department of Environmental Quality. Hardesty, who started her environmental career as an intern for DEQ in the 1980s, now oversees an agency with a $63 million budget and 380 employees. The DEQ is responsible for protecting Idaho's air, water and land resources.
Among other topics, Franklin and Hardesty discuss new legislation that would expand auto emissions testing programs in Idaho, new rules and regulations for field burning, a U.S. Court of Appeals decision regarding nuclear waste shipments from the Idaho National Laboratory, and concerns over pharmaceuticals in drinking water.
Before being appointed to her position by Governor Kempthorne in July, 2004, Hardesty had worked in both the Air and Water Quality divisions of the agency, as well as for the EPA and private consulting firms. She has been re-appointed director by both Governors Risch and Otter.