Idaho Cities Call for Water Quality Monitoring

As you probably know, we’ve been rallying support for water quality monitoring for weeks now.  We have been calling on Gov. Otter to restore funding to the budget to perform one of the basic functions under the Clean Water Act, something the Governor and legislature have declined to fund for the past two years. Of course, this is exactly what you’d expect of your local more »

Conservation Groups Submit EPA Cleanup Comments

Kootenai Environmental Alliance, along with Idaho Conservation League, Spokane Riverkeeper, Idaho Rivers United and The Lands Council submitted comments today to the EPA on the proposed amendment to the Upper Coeur d’Alene Basin Superfund Record of Decision. The comments to the controversial EPA cleanup plan focused on several key points: (1) to ensure that the plan is protective of human health and the environment, (2) more »

Citizens for a Prosperous Silver Valley Now Annoying Residents with Robocalls

We’ve heard from a number of friends and members that they are being robocalled from the phony front group “Citizens for a Prosperous Silver Valley” which opposes the proposed cleanup in the Silver Valley. We wish we could give better advice as to how to shut down the annoying phone calls, but we’re afraid that according to the Supreme Court the free speech rights of more »

EPA Cleanup Comment Deadline Approaching

The November 23 deadline for comments on the proposed EPA cleanup for the upper Coeur d’Alene basin is fast approaching, and we received the following email from EPA regarding how comments are being handled: Many people are wondering how EPA is handling public comments on the Proposed Cleanup Plan for the Upper Basin, and when they might hear something back.  Here are answers those questions. more »

Idaho Needs a Clean Water Revival

For whatever the reason — budget priorities, neglect, antipathy to federal mandates — Idaho’s lack of proper attention to clean water is tilting toward disaster. The Clean Water Act is one of this country’s most important environmental laws. Passed by Congress in 1972, it is responsible for some impressive success stories in the nation’s environmental history. However, in Idaho, the state’s failure to implement some more »

What the Law Requires in the Silver Valley Cleanup

Despite some of the rhetoric coming from opponents of the proposed Superfund cleanup of the upper Coeur d’Alene basin, “EPA go home” isn’t an option. In fact, the law is fairly clear why EPA is in the basin and what needs to be done. A quick review of the relevant federal regulations might be helpful. According to the governing federal regulations, the EPA’s primary purpose more »

Harrison Annexation of Powderhorn Property Heading to Kootenai County Courtroom

The inevitable lawsuit has been filed in Kootenai County District Court regarding the absurd annexation of the Powderhorn peninsula by the tiny city of Harrison. Recall that in September, Harrison, a city of 300 or so residents, moved to annex land across the open waters of the Coeur d’Alene River for a massive gated-community golf course development with more than 1300 homes. Two citizens groups more »

Breaking News: Osprey Association Files Cougar Bay Lawsuit Challenging IDL Rejections

Although things have been quiet recently on the Save Cougar Bay battlefront, new shots were fired yesterday by the Cougar Bay Osprey Protective Association, which filed a lawsuit challenging the Idaho Department of Lands’ rejection of their application to protect the pilings and booms in Cougar Bay. Having been rejected twice by the Department, without so much as a hearing, the Osprey Association filed a more »

Hecla Mining Proposes Non-Cleanup for Upper Coeur d’Alene Basin

We have obtained a copy of a cleanup counter-proposal for the upper Coeur d’Alene basin from Hecla Mining, and not surprisingly, the mining company proposes a much shorter, much cheaper, much less comprehensive, cleanup. We’re still weeding through their complicated 378-page, 10-year proposal, but based on a quick skim, we’re skeptical that their plan will meet cleanup standards in our lifetime. Or anyone’s lifetime. As more »

Last Comp Plan Hearing Ever?

Kootenai Environmental Alliance provided comments, again –and hopefully for the last time — on the long-awaited draft comprehensive plan revision for Kootenai County.  In the works for four or five years at this point, the draft could gain final approval by the County Commissioners next month. The hearing was nowhere near as lengthy, or heated, as previous hearings on the plan. Commissioners Tondee and Currie more »