March 08, 2005

Delegation Secures Epa Funding For North Idaho Cleanup

More than $17 million to be released, an increase of $4 million over last year

Washington, DC - Idaho Senators Larry Craig and Mike Crapo, and Congressmen Mike Simpson and C.L. â??Butchâ?? Otter, today announced increased funding for cleanup work in the Coeur dâ??Alene Basin. The Idaho Delegation wrote EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman in early June, seeking a commitment from the agency for fiscal year 2003. A copy of the EPAâ??s letter is enclosed:"I am very pleased that the Idaho delegation was able to get this money released from the EPA," Senator Craig said. "The nearly eighteen million dollars will go towards on the ground work, this year, so that active progress can be made in the clean-up of the Superfund site. Getting the Basin out from under the stigma of the Superfund designation is our ultimate goal and this money will aid in that effort."Senator Crapo, who has sought ongoing funding through legislation by working with the Coeur dâ??Alene Tribe and the EPA, praised the announcement. â??The $4 million increase over last year is welcome news and the EPA has shown a renewed commitment to work with residents of the Basin to put some of the Superfund arguments behind us and move ahead quickly with cleanup efforts. This funding, when added to the nearly $3 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, could create well over 800 jobs in the Coeur dâ??Alene Basin, and that is very welcome news.â??Congressman Otter, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Hazardous Materials, said, "This is a positive sign that the EPA shares our commitment to keeping the cleanup on schedule. This money will help us move as quickly as possible toward the goal of getting out from under the Superfund designation. Then we can startthe task of economic development and putting folks to work."# # #