Oil Spills and Mining Messes
We continue to watch in horror as the gulf oil spill expands and consumes beaches, marshland, birds, fish, and other wildlife. Even when the spill finally stops, the gulf region is facing years and years of cleanup.
Those of us in North Idaho can relate as well as anyone south of Prince William Sound, Alaska. Environmentally, the oil mess in the gulf is not unlike the mining mess in the Coeur d’Alene basin. Contamination spread for miles by natural currents of water. Brought on, in no small part, by under-regulated industrial operations.
Of course, the contamination of our region was decades in the making and decades ago. The cleanup here will continue for decades. Currently the EPA is considering an update to the Superfund “Record of Decision” for the upper Coeur d’Alene basin, which is intended to guide cleanup plans for the next 50 to 90 years. (That’s right – another 50 to 90 years of cleanup in the upper basin. Meanwhile, we try to remain hopeful that the lower basin will get some attention prior to the year 2060. ) Anne Dailey, from the EPA’s office in Seattle will join us this Thursday, noon, at the Iron Horse to discuss the “ROD Amendment,” as it is called.
Our thoughts go out to our fellow Americans along the gulf of Mexico. Welcome to our world.