A roadmap for the next 30 years of cleanup in the Upper Coeur d’Alene River Basin came into sharper focus yesterday, as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) delivered the signed, written framework, called an Interim Record of Decision Amendment (RODA).
According to Dan Opalski, Director of EPA’s Superfund Office in Seattle, the weighty document reflects increased activity in some areas and less emphasis on others, when compared to the July 2010 Proposed Plan.
“We listened closely to all perspectives about how to provide the greatest environmental and human health improvement while balancing the duration and costs,” said EPA’s Opalski. “This decision sets forth an ambitious, yet thoughtful and methodical approach to reducing risks from metals, making the Coeur d’Alene Basin an even safer, healthier place to live, work and play.”
Prior to signature, the EPA received written concurrence from the State of Idaho and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. Letters of support were also received from the State Of Washington, The Spokane Tribe, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). EPA worked closely with the Basin Environmental Improvement Project Commission (Basin Commission) to hone the approach outlined in the RODA.
The Upper Basin cleanup is now expected to cost about $635 million over 30 years.
Press Release, August 29, 2012