SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The state of South Dakota hasn't updated the water quality permits for one-third of facilities that pump waste into the state's waterways.

An Argus Leader investigation found more than 120 cities and companies have been discharging waste water into rivers and lakes while leaving water pollution largely unchecked.

Some of the permits have languished for more than a decade. The newspaper found that of the eight Sioux Falls-based water discharge facilities, only the state penitentiary has an effective permit.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources engineering manager Albert Spangler says there weren't enough people to issue permits in recent years, resulting in an extensive backlog.

Additional state funding this year has allowed the agency to chip away at the backlog of permits but progress is slow.


Information from: Argus Leader,