Lower Coeur d’Alene Basin

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Basin Commission to Consider Lower Basin Collaboration

As the cleanup of mine waste contamination in the Coeur d'Alene River basin moves ever-so-slowly downstream, government agencies are beginning to prepare. Studies are being done, computer models assembled, and basic data gathering is well underway. In response, some citizens are also coming together to make sure that community input is not forgotten. At an [...]

By |2011-12-22T10:22:44-08:00November 1st, 2011|Kootenai Environmental Alliance|1 Comment

Having a Say in Superfund: The Lower Basin Collaborative

Superfund cleanup isn’t limited to the Silver Valley. The Coeur d'Alene River, the chain lakes and wetlands from Cataldo to Harrison are contaminated with heavy metals from the last century of mining upstream. Every flood season, another layer of contamination is deposited throughout the drainage. The EPA, charged with the cleanup responsibilities, is in the process [...]

By |2011-12-22T10:22:44-08:00October 10th, 2011|Kootenai Environmental Alliance|2 Comments

Gas Spill? Or Not? Conoco-Phillips Still Without Answers

It's been a week since Conoco-Phillips says they noticed a "drop in pressure" in their gasoline pipeline between Billings and Spokane. And we're still waiting for an explanation. Booms are in the Coeur d'Alene River. Workers in hard hats and pickup trucks are thick in the Enaville to Cataldo stretch of pipeline in question. Promises [...]

By |2011-12-22T10:22:44-08:00October 8th, 2011|Kootenai Environmental Alliance, Water|0 Comments

Coeur d’Alene Basin Pipeline Spill?

We thought the Yellowstone River oil spill this past summer was a little close for comfort. Well, guess what. We got word late yesterday afternoon, with some additional information trickling in to us today that a 10-inch Conoco-Phillips pipeline, pumping unleaded gasoline from Billings to Spokane is suffering a “slow drop in pressure” somewhere between [...]

By |2011-12-22T10:22:45-08:00October 5th, 2011|Kootenai Environmental Alliance, Water|2 Comments

Hecla Settlement Ends Litigation, Opens New Era for Coeur d’Alene Cleanup

Announced Monday and likely to be approved by a federal court in the next month or two, Hecla Mining and the U.S. EPA have settled longstanding Superfund litigation. The settlement establishes Hecla’s contribution toward the costs of the Coeur d'Alene basin minewaste cleanup. According to news reports, Hecla has agreed to pay some $263 million [...]

By |2011-12-22T10:27:05-08:00June 14th, 2011|Kootenai Environmental Alliance|1 Comment

Another Flood Season, Another Tough Season for Swans in the Coeur d’Alene Basin

Tundra swans are dying again this year. Like they do every year. Lured to the beautiful lower Coeur d'Alene basin’s waterways and wetlands for rest and food, the birds end up, quite literally, choked on sediments contaminated with lead. The lead, of course, is flushed downstream by flooding from the legacy of mining in the [...]

By |2011-12-22T10:27:06-08:00May 31st, 2011|Kootenai Environmental Alliance, Wildlife|1 Comment

January Flooding May Have Caused the Worst Coeur d’Alene Basin Contamination in Years

Late last week, we were forwarded an email from Greg Clark with the U.S. Geological Survey, whose team did some water monitoring during the flood event January 18th of this year. The monitoring in Harrison, where the Coeur d'Alene River flows into Coeur d'Alene Lake, shows that the conveyor belt of contamination from the upper [...]

By |2011-12-22T10:47:49-08:00March 7th, 2011|Kootenai Environmental Alliance|10 Comments

Birds Can’t Read

Migrating birds can't read the signs in the lower Coeur d'Alene basin.  They don't know that much of the basin is contaminated with heavy metals, and they don't know that simply landing to rest and to feed could be lethal.  Every year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service collects at least 150 dead tundra swans [...]

By |2011-12-22T10:47:50-08:00February 14th, 2011|Kootenai Environmental Alliance|2 Comments