Funding from two settlements will help EPA fund cleanup actions in the “Box” and the “Basin” areas of the Bunker Hill Superfund Site. We will receive up to about $180 million from a settlement with Hecla Mining Company. As dictated in the court-entered Consent Decree with Hecla, these funds will be placed into an EPA site-specific special account for the Bunker Hill Mining and Metallurgical Superfund Site and must be used “to conduct or finance response actions at or in connection within the Site.” These funds can be used for cleanup actions in both the Basin and Box.
Additional funding for cleanup includes over $435 million from the Asarco bankruptcy. This money was placed in the Coeur d’Alene Work Trust for cleanup in the Coeur d’Alene Basin. Another approximately $50 million EPA received directly from the Asarco bankruptcy will also be placed in the Trust.
The funds in the Coeur d’Alene Work Trust are invested by the Trust and are expected to grow over time. The court order approving the Coeur d'Alene Work Trust requires that the Trust be used only to perform EPA selected cleanup actions in the Basin. Thus, the Coeur d'Alene Work Trust cannot be used for cleanup actions in the Box.
Since the cleanup needs in the Coeur d’Alene Basin are extremely large, EPA will need to manage this money very carefully to ensure there are sufficient funds for all the important work that needs to get done in both the Upper and Lower Basin. In addition, EPA Region 10, the office in charge of the cleanup, will continue to seek additional funding from EPA Headquarters to supplement settlement funds.
Bill Adams (email@example.com)
206-553-2806 or toll-free 1-800-424-4372, extension 2806