By Keith Ridler, Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Federal officials have approved Idaho's request to make changes to its hazardous waste program to bring it in line with federal regulations.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday gave authorization for the state to make the changes on how it regulates some toxic, poisonous, corrosive, ignitable and other wastes.

Idaho took over management of hazardous waste in 1990, and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality every three years updates its rules through the Legislature to match changes in federal regulations.

State officials say the most significant change this year involves solvent-contaminated rags that can now be washed and reused rather than sent to disposal sites.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency does not allow states to have hazardous waste rules less stringent than federal requirements.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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