July 30, 2010

Listening Session Set on North Idaho Cleanup

Crapo seeks public comment on EPA cleanup

Washington, D.C. - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo will chair a listening session in Kellogg on Monday, August 9th to take public comment on EPA's announcement to amend its Record of Decision regarding environmental cleanup in the Silver Valley and Coeur d'Alene Basin. Crapo will be joined for the listening session by Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter, Coeur d'Alene Tribal Chairman Chief J. Allan, Shoshone County Commission Chairman Jon Cantamessa and EPA Region 10 Administrator Dennis McLerran.

Local residents, elected officials and other stakeholders are invited to offer testimony. The session is scheduled from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at the Kellogg High School Gymnasium, 2 Jacobs Gulch Road in Kellogg. Public signup to offer testimony will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the school.

"Few issues are as important to the future of North Idaho and the entire state of Idaho as the economics related to our state's mining industry and ongoing cleanup of past mining operations," Crapo wrote in a letter this week inviting elected leaders to the town hall discussion. "Specifically the simultaneous preservation of local jobs and economies in the Silver Valley and the cleanup and restoration of the Bunker Hill Superfund Site is essential."

"Involving the public in this process is very important. I appreciate Senator Crapo setting up this opportunity, and I encourage local residents to come out and have their voices heard," Governor Otter said. "The EPA must understand how critical it is to Idaho and our citizens that we protect the cleanup work and investment that already has been made in the basin in a way that doesn't foreclose future mining opportunities there."

"Nobody cares more about the health of the environment or the economic future of North Idaho than the Coeur d'Alene Tribe," said Chairman Chief J. Allan. "We have been pushing for adequate and effective cleanup of the Basin from the beginning and we will continue to work with the interested parties to ensure that is what we get."

Crapo is a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which holds oversight responsibilities for the EPA.