The Coeur d’Alene Tribe, the U.S. Department of Interior and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are seeking public comment on the second phase of the Coeur d’Alene Basin Natural Resource Damage Assessment Plan.
The second phase of the plan describes the studies and methods that will be used to measure the degree of injury to the natural resources in the Coeur d’Alene Basin. The focus is on pollution from mining activity in the Silver Valley and its effect on wildlife, recreation, and other uses.
The plan is a result of the Superfund Law, which named the tribe and federal agencies as natural resource trustees.
The trustees are empowered to be compensated by the “potentially responsible parties” for injury to the basin. The money recovered must be used for cleanup.
In March, the federal government filed a lawsuit against four major mining companies seeking compensation for environmental restoration outside the Bunker Hill Superfund site.
For a copy of the plan, contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Coeur d’Alene Tribe or the USDA Forest Service. Comments should be sent to Coeur d’Alene Tribe, Natural Resource Damage Assessment Project Office, Old City Hall, Suite 306, 424 Sherman Ave., Coeur d’Alene 83814.