Coeur d’Alene Lake, Problems and Solutions

In the Upper Coeur d’Alene Basin resides one of the largest and most complex Superfund sites in the country, Bunker Hill. From the 1880s to the early 1980s, the Silver Valley was the nation’s largest producer of silver, lead, zinc, and other metals. The mining and processing generated large quantities of heavy-metal-related waste materials containing toxic substances such as cadmium, arsenic, lead, and zinc. Much more »

WANTED: Lower Basin Cleanup Ideas and Input

The Bunker Hill Superfund Site is one of the largest and most complex Superfund sites in the country. The designated site encompasses the 21 sq. mi. Bunker Hill “box” located in the area surrounding the historic smelting operations in the Upper Basin and as-the-water-flows down through the Coeur d’Alene River corridor. The Coeur d’Alene River bed is thus lined with more than six million cubic more »

Engineers Chosen to Certify Dike

Last night, the Coeur d’Alene City Council approved the services contract for Ruen-Yeager & Associates (RYA) to serve as the engineers tasked with evaluating the levee that runs along Rosenberry Drive and then certifying it in accordance with FEMA requirements (44CFR, Section 65.10). RYA is a local consulting civil engineering, planning and land surveying firm that has been doing work in North Idaho since 1983.  more »

Victory for Idaho Rivers United in Megaloads Case

We recently received notice that our colleagues at Idaho Rivers United (IRU) got a big win last week when a federal judge ruled in their favor regarding a lawsuit they filed in March 2011, which claimed that the US Forest Service violated the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act by allowing the Idaho Department of Transportation to issue permits for transporting megaloads up the Lochsa/Clearwater corridor. more »

House Bill would Mandate Property Rights Councils for All Idaho Communities

Last week Representative Vito Barbieri introduced House Bill 136 as an amendment to Idaho’s Local Land Use Planning Act. This bill would make the following of  the Idaho Local Land Use Planning Act (LLUPA) a discretionary decision of municipalities. The purpose of the  LLUPA is “to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the people of the state of Idaho” and “to protect life more »

Proposed Coal Export Terminal Would Leave Sandpoint in the Dust

Proposed Coal Export Terminal Would Leave Sandpoint in the Dust

The largest coal company in the world, Peabody Energy, is hoping to build an export terminal north of Bellingham, Washington, so that they can export massive amounts of coal from Wyoming and Montana to countries like China and India. The proposed Cherry Point terminal would export approximately 48 million tons of coal per year, which would make it the largest coal export facility in North more »

NEW! Coeur d'Alene Glass Recycling

NEW! Coeur d’Alene Glass Recycling

Did you know that nationally and locally, 75% of all glass ends up in landfills? Here in Coeur d’Alene, we throw away approximately 250 tons of glass per year!  Some of us diehard recyclers collect our glass bottles and drive them over to Spokane, where we ask a friend to include it with their curbside pick-up. But even in Spokane they are collecting it- just more »

Establishing Sustainable Food Systems for Future Generations

Establishing Sustainable Food Systems for Future Generations

Consumers today are more conscientious than ever about where their food is sourced and how it is grown. Since the passing of The Organic Food Production Act in 1990, the organic food industry in the U.S. has grown at a rate of 20-30% per year, making it the fastest growing sector in the food market. Growing awareness of the quality and nutrient value of the more »

Who Owns the Water?

Who Owns the Water?

Though thousands of us use Kootenai County’s lakes and rivers each summer and enjoy them all year, many of us take them for granted.  We assume they are clean.  We forget they are public property and their water quality needs protection. Amid the vocal claims about the sanctity of private property rights, public property rights sometimes get drowned out.  They are just as important, especially more »