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Huckleberries Online

Thu., Aug. 5, 2010, 9 a.m.

CdA Basin cleanup plan has critics

Tim Little stands over a churning tank of mining wastewater as it is aerated and neutralized by the addition of lime at the Central Treatment Plant in Kellogg.  (Jesse Tinsley)
Tim Little stands over a churning tank of mining wastewater as it is aerated and neutralized by the addition of lime at the Central Treatment Plant in Kellogg. (Jesse Tinsley)

Tim Little stands over a churning tank of mining wastewater as it is aerated and neutralized by the addition of lime at the Central Treatment Plant in Kellogg.

As water percolates through old mine workings in the headwaters of the Coeur d’Alene River, it picks up lead, arsenic, zinc and other heavy metals.

The metals stunt fish populations in 66 miles of the river and its tributaries, with some stretches too toxic to support aquatic life. They also pose potential health risks for people who swim or float down the river, or recreate along the shore, government officials said.

But cleaning up a century’s worth of mininFug pollution in the upper Coeur d’Alene Basin won’t be easy or cheap. Becky Kramer, SR Full story.

The EPA plan faced a skeptical, sometimes hostile crowd last night. Do you think the cost and the timeline are acceptable? What does this say for the future of mining in the Silver Valley?




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Cindy Hval
Cindy Hval is a freelance columnist for the Voices neighborhood sections. Her Front Porch column appears twice a month in the Thursday Voice.