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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Down To Earth

Army Corps of Engineers rejects Lake Coeur d’ Alene dredging and shoreline reconstruction

The Hagadone's just got a thumbs down in their federal appeal of the planned expansion for the Marina Yacht Club on Blackwell Island, located where the lake flows into Spokane River. The Army Corps Of Engineers sent a comprehensive letter thankfully requiring more measures to address public comment and concern over the proposal, citing the Endangered Species Act and an archaeological survey on the eastern side of the island as two of many reasons for additional site review.

Part of the work for the new design called for 46,000 cubic yards of sediment tainted with heavy metals from mining to be dredged from the channel. Hagadone Hospitality's original plan was to dispose of the sediment on Blackwell Island in lined and unlined pits, curiously located in a floodplain.

This would’ve severely effected water quality standards, especially since the Coeur d’Alene Lake Management Plan said not to dredge the lake bottom because leaving the contaminated soils in place is a safer management solution. Also, as Spokane Riverkeeper Rick Eichstaedt pointed out, there’s a close connection between the lake, the river, and the underlying Spokane Valley/Rathdrum Prairie aquifer which is only eighty feet beneath the surface in the planned area for digging.

For more information, read our original post on the Blackwell Island expansion titled “Yacht Rock.”

Down To Earth

The DTE blog is committed to reporting and sharing environmental news and sustainability information from across the Inland Northwest.