There’s a lot of work to be done throughout the Coeur d’Alene Basin to clean up after decades of mining, beginning this summer. Those in charge of the cleanup projects expect to spend around $38 million. The CDA Press
reported this morning that most of that money comes from settlement dollars from Asarco and Hecla Mining Co.
The to-do list includes cleaning up 100 to 125 residential and commercial properties and repairing or replacing more than 17 miles of paved roads in eight different upper basin communities. Water collection and treatment plants will also be designed, as well as construction at multiple mine-waste repositories.
The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality says that road repair and replacement work is necessary because as the road breaks down, contaminated material below becomes exposed.
Construction on the repositories starts in the fall at the new Lower Burke Repository in Wallace. It will be designed to store 800,000 cubic yards of material. The existing Big Creek Repository is nearly full, with plans in the works to build an add-on, increasing its capacity of 600,000 cubic yards.
Construction will also resume on a mine waste consolidation by Ninemile Creek. The remote 20-acre site will have a capacity of one million cubic yards of material and it’ll first receive 200,000 cubic yards of waste from the Interstate-Callahan Mine, which will take two years to fully transport. After that, a four-year cleanup project will begin at the Success Mine site, with more than 400,000 cubic yards of dump material.
There are also plans to clean up 300 feet of Canyon Creek, remediating the riverbank.