March 10, 2005

Craig, Crapo and Ottter Introduce Silver Biocide Legislation

Bills call for study of silver as a viable wood preservative

WASHINGTON, DC â?? Idaho Senators Larry Craig and Mike Crapo, and Senator John Ensign (R-NV) introduced the Wood Preservation Safety Act of 2003 into the Senate today. If enacted, this legislation would authorize the Forest Products Laboratory of the U.S. Forest Service tostudy the effectiveness of silver-based biocides as a wood preservative treatment. According to silverexperts and academics, silver biocides could serve as a viable, safe and cost effective woodp reservative.Idaho Congressman C.L. â??Butchâ?? Otter is a cosponsor of H.R. 688, a similar silver-based biocide bill, that was introduced in the House of Representatives last week. â??Given silverâ??s long-standing role as an effective biocide, it is important to study andfully explore the potential it may have as a wood preservative,â?? said Craig. â??Mining has beenan important part of Idahoâ??s history since the late 1800s and remains a critical part of thenationâ??s economy. Silver contributes to our quality of life in many ways, and its use as a biocide in wood products is an important application that must be explored.â??"The recent sale of part of the Sunshine Mining operations and the potential new usesfor silver through this legislation can stimulate new job growth in Idaho's mining industry,"Crapo said."With companion legislation introduced in the House last week by NevadaCongressman Jim Gibbons and myself, this is a bicameral effort by the nation's two biggestsilver-producing states to benefit the wood-products and mining industries alike. Jobs are at stake here in our traditional resources industries as well as the value-adding processors thatturn raw materials into consumer products. This is a simple, straightforward solution to aproblem that requires immediate attention. It makes a lot of sense,â?? said Otter.The legislation will now be referred to the appropriate Senate committee for consideration.[30]