Bunker Hill Mining and Metallurgical Superfund Site (Coeur d'Alene Basin) | Region 10 | US EPA

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Bunker Hill Mining and Metallurgical Superfund Site (Coeur d'Alene Basin)

The Bunker Hill Mining and Metallurgical Complex Superfund Site - also known as the Coeur d'Alene Basin cleanup - is located primarily in northern Idaho. It was first added to EPA's National Priorities List of contaminated sites in 1983.

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Community Resources - Find information about meetings, fact sheets, document locations, community groups, mailing list

Technical & Legal Documents

Contacts:

For questions about hiring and contracts for work being done by the CDA Work Trust, contact Dan Meyer, Senior Program Manager, 208-783-0222

Newsletter:

Read our Basin Bulletin newsletter for updates about cleanup activities »

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News

Tell EPA your ideas for involving the community. Sign up to talk with us or send us a letter.

Your input is welcome! EPA is updating its Community Involvement Plan. The plan outlines ways to keep people involved in and informed about the Coeur d’Alene Basin cleanup. You can help shape this plan. We want to hear from you. What is the best way for you to get information about the cleanup? What is the best way to make sure you have a voice in cleanup activities?

There are lots of ways to give input. You are invited to meet with outreach staff, either in person or by phone. Meetings can be set for a time and place that work for you on May 15 or 16, 2014. You can meet with us individually or we can meet with your group. Or, you can choose to drop by:

  • May 15, any time from 3 to 6 pm, Red Light Garage, 302 5th St, Wallace, ID 83873
  • May 16, any time from 9 to 11 am, Rose Lake Community Center, Hwy 3, Rose Lake, ID 83810

To set up a meeting or phone call, call Rene Gilbert at 208-659-5237. You can also share your views in writing. Send a note to gilbert.maureen@epa.gov, or Rene Gilbert, EPA Community Liaison, c/o IDEQ, 1005 W McKinley, Kellogg ID 83837.

The Superfund Cleanup Implementation Plan, prepared last year, spells out plans for Superfund cleanup in the Basin. The 2013 Annual Update highlights changes from last year’s plan—most of the changes are schedule-related.

EPA Community Involvement: 2013 Report -- EPA Region 10 continued working with the local community throughout 2013. The agency's outreach activities are designed to give people meaningful opportunities to be involved in agency decision making. This 3-page report shares highlights.

EPA Announces Pilot Project Selection:
Riverside Cleanup at Khanderosa

Sept. 30, 2013 -- EPA is pleased to announce that the Khanderosa RV Park Campground along the CDA River will be the site of a pilot project. This small scale cleanup will address lead contamination on the river bank and beach. The cleanup will protect people’s health and help inform possible larger-scale cleanups in the future.

Back in July, EPA announced that it had decided to do a river bank and beach remediation project. The agency has now finished screening the Khanderosa site and confirmed it is suitable for the pilot. Sampling and surveying are ongoing. Soon the agency will prepare a “design” to guide the cleanup. Work could include removing contamination in areas where the public could be exposed, stabilizing the river bank, providing access to the beach and adding cautionary signs. Cleanup work is expected to be performed next year.

July 1, 2013 -- EPA has picked two projects for doing cleanup tests in the Lower Basin. One is a riverbank and beach remediation project. The other is a project to manage water levels in a contaminated area to help prevent waterfowl from feeding there. Thank you to all the submitters! We received 46 thoughtful ideas! Your input is helping to shape cleanup actions in the Lower Basin.

EPA has responded to the public’s comments on the repository’s design.  One commenter raised issues about its height and truck traffic. Another commenter was concerned about dust from and management of the nearby SVNRT repository. To see our responses, go to this link.

Ninemile Creek Watershed Waste Consolidation Area

Environmental work is underway high up in the Ninemile Creek Watershed. The CDA Work Trust will build a Waste Consolidation Area there to prepare for cleanup at the Interstate-Callahan mine site. This work marks the start of major source control efforts in the Coeur d’Alene Basin and is not expected to be disruptive since it’s taking place in a remote area.

Learn about water sampling at East Mission Flats Repository
Brochure: Water Sampling at East Mission Flats Repository (PDF) (4 pp, 500K). This brochure includes information about the monitoring program, sampling results, and protective features of the repository. Learn more about the East Mission Flats Repository

Interim ROD Amendment for Upper Basin and Box

2012-2022 Implementation plan is now available.

Coeur d'Alene Basin Cleanup Activities

Yard cleanups

Upper Basin and "Box"

In 2012, EPA changed the Record of Decision - or ROD - for cleaning up the Upper Basin. The ROD is a "road map" that defines the scope and scale of cleanup needed to meet our goals. You will have many opportunities to give input, ask questions, and influence the work throughout the cleanup process.

Lower Basin

EPA's data collection and analysis efforts in the Lower Basin continue to improve our understanding of contaminated sediment transport and disposition throughout the Lower Basin. This understanding is supporting the development and evaluation of cleanup alternatives to address mining waste contamination issues in the Lower Basin. The Upper Basin cleanup is expected to complement cleanup activities in the Lower Basin by reducing the flow of contaminated sediments and reducing the potential for recontamination from the Upper Basin to the Lower Basin.

EPA has picked two projects for doing cleanup tests in the Lower Basin. One is a riverbank and beach remediation project. The other is a project to manage water levels in a contaminated area to help prevent waterfowl from feeding there. Thank you to all the submitters! We received 46 thoughtful ideas! Your input is helping to shape cleanup actions in the Lower Basin.

Mine and mill cleanups

Waste Repositories

Contaminated soil from cleanups of residential and commercial properties is contained in waste repositories to reduce impacts to people and the environment. Waste respository locations for Bunker Hill include the East Mission Flats Repository and Page Waste Repository.

Other Cleanup Activities

Completed cleanup work

Institutional controls

The Panhandle Health District manages the Institutional Controls Program - a locally-enforced set of regulations that ensure clean soil and other protective barriers placed over contamination remain protective of public health.

Site Summary

The Bunker Hill Mining and Metallurgical Complex Superfund Site - also known as the Coeur d'Alene Basin cleanup - is located primarily in northern Idaho. It was first added to EPA's National Priorities List of contaminated sites in 1983.

The Site includes mining-contaminated areas in the Coeur d’Alene River corridor, adjacent floodplains, downstream water bodies, tributaries, and fill areas, as well as the 21-square-mile Bunker Hill “Box” where historical ore-processing and smelting operations occurred. The EPA has divided the Bunker Hill Superfund Site into three Operable Units(OUs):

  • OU1 - Bunker Hill Box ("the Box") populated areas - a 21 square mile area that includes the cities of Kellogg, Wardner, Smelterville, and Pinehurst
  • OU2 - Bunker Hill Box non-populated areas- comprises the non-populated areas of the Bunker Hill Box
  • OU3 - Coeur d’Alene Basin ("the Basin") - includes all areas of the Coeur d’Alene Basin outside the Bunker Hill Box where mining-related contamination is located. This includes 45 miles of the South Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River, and its tributaries, and including the main stem of the Coeur d’Alene River down to the depositional areas of the Spokane River, which flows from Coeur d’Alene Lake into Washington State.

Lead contamination from historical mining practices poses a risk to people in the area, especially children. We're working with many partner organizations to help reduce this risk. Read more about the site's history »


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