BOISE - New Rep. Shannon McMillan, R-Silverton, introduced her first bill today, but it’s actually from her son, Wallace attorney James McMillan.
She told the House State Affairs Committee, “I would like to yield my time to my son to explain this further,” to which chairman Tom Loertscher, R-Iona, responded, “I think that would be appropriate.”
It’s a non-binding memorial to Congress demanding that the EPA be removed from Shoshone County, along with its Superfund designation, within five years.
“I’m actually the ultimate author of this resolution and I am here on behalf of Rep. Shannon McMillan,” James McMillan told the committee. He said the EPA’s proposed multi-year cleanup plan “would have a devastating effect upon our mining industry.”
James McMillan said human health concerns in the Bunker Hill cleanup already have been addressed. “Now they say that their focus is fish and wildlife,” he told the committee. “They keep changing the focus. … We need to tell them that this needs to stop.”
The committee voted unanimously to introduce the bill, clearing the way for a hearing. Rep. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls, said that the EPA’s proposed Record of Decision for an expanded multi-year cleanup in the Coeur d’Alene Basin could mean big costs for the state, and Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d’Alene, disclosed that she sits on the board of a mining company but still planned to vote.
Afterward, James McMillan, 29, said he first started working on the resolution as a proposal to his local Republican Central Committee, where he’s a youth committeeman and also a precinct committeeman. “I’ve been kind of working it through the Republican Party,” he said.
His mother, asked why she didn’t pitch the measure herself, said, “Because he was the one that wrote it, so he has a better understanding of it at this point in time.” She said, “It just happened to work out that I got in this year, so I could introduce it.”