A risky mine

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, September 29, 2005

Coeur Alaska is a subsidiary of Coeur d'Alene Mines. Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp. is based in Boise, Idaho, and is one of the largest Superfund sites in the United States. This Superfund site involves Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia. This places Kensington Mine in a questionable state, with questionable partners already owing the taxpayers for a pilot assessment that cost $4.9 million for a brown-water project. These grants have leveraged $67 million for cleanup and redevelopment. The Brown Fields Program is an important part of Superfund work, according to Michael F. Geearheard, Office of Environmental Cleanup, Environmental Protection Agency Region 10.

I went to a family reunion about five years ago in the Coeur d'Alene basin in Idaho. At two public boat ramps they posted a public notice that pregnant women and children up to 4 months of age should not eat the lake trout. All other people can eat two lake trout a year at their own risk. I assumed that the lake trout were loaded with either mercury, lead or zinc from the surrounding mines.

According to a recent Empire article, dumping the waste from the Kensington Mine into Slate Lake will kill the population of Dolly Varden. Will we have a brown-water project to clean up? Maybe we will have the 50-foot dam break and have our wild salmon placed on notice at the public ramps that pregnant women and children up to 4 months cannot eat salmon. All other people can eat only one salmon per year at their own risk.

Cliff Lobaugh

Juneau



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