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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

JFAC wishes DEQ chief Hardesty well; her last day will be next Thursday

After JFAC this morning unanimously approved a $671,200 supplemental appropriation to the Department of Environmental Quality for continued cleanup at the Bunker Hill Superfund site - the money comes from a settlement with Hecla Mining and is part of continuing cleanup within the 22-square-mile "box" at the center of the cleanup site - state DEQ Director Toni Hardesty stood up to leave. Senate Finance Chairman Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, interrupted the proceedings to recognize her; she's leaving her post to take a job with the Nature Conservancy and her last day is next Thursday. Said Cameron wistfully, "I was hoping if we passed this that you would stay." He thanked Hardesty for her service and wished her well.

The money is for the continuing institutional controls program overseen by the Panhandle Health District. Sen. Joyce Broadsword, R-Sagle, said, "It is incredibly difficult to just do even a sign placement in the Silver Valley without extensive permit process through the institutional controls process. I met with a constituent last week who told me it took eight hours" to go through approval "just to put a new sign for their nursing home up. It has to do with the contaminated soils. ... So this is an important program."

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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