Even the most vocal component of our local red-state anti-everything contingent should be applauding this news regarding the federal stimulus spending in the Coeur d’Alene basin. We got notice of this DEQ press release yesterday, announcing the end-of-season statistics that show the stimulus spending has put the yard cleanup program in the upper basin nearly two years ahead of schedule. The program, which removes a layer of contaminated soils and replaces it with a foot of clean topsoil, is designed to eliminate one of the main pathways of lead poisoning of children in the Silver Valley.
So, in more important terms, the stimulus spending means that 344 more families had their properties remediated to reduce (and hopefully eliminate) exposure to lead-contaminated soils. The modest investment of federal dollars – primarily to create and sustain jobs in the region – has resulted in preventing the poisoning of children in up to 344 households this summer. The choice of East Mission Flats as a dump site is problematic, but accelerating the cleanup is certainly not. Jobs, cleanup, and lead poisoning prevention – this is stimulus spending we should all be able to agree on.