Friday, November 6, 2009

Outrage over toxic waste in Idaho

Silver Valley Community Resource Center

PO Box 362

Kellogg, ID 83837

Phone: 208-784-8891

Contact persons: Bob Colonna, 208-784-8891


Gayle Eversole, 509-432-4868

Date: Nov. 6, 2009

SVCRC outraged with Congressman Minnick's response to Old Mission Repository meeting

KELLOGG, ID-- Today the SVCRC office received word from by a letter sent by Marie Hattaway of Idaho Congressman Walt Minnick's office regarding the recent request by citizens and groups opposing the 20 acre toxic waste site to hold a public meeting of all affected citizens was turned down. The request for the public meeting is supported by the OIG's office who undertook the original investigation of the site as well as CERCLA law.

More than 500,000 individuals who live within the boundaries of the 1500 sq. mile Bunker Hill/CDA Basin Superfund are not being given accurate information pertaining to EPA Region Ten and IDEQ's building of a 600,000 cubic yard repository. The location runs parallel to Interstate 90 is in a well documented floodplain that arsenic pollution of groundwater has already been detected, sacred ancestral grounds and a large natural wetland at the Old Mission State Park overpass.

More than 2000 individuals and other groups have come forward including Center for Justice, CD'A Tribe, Kootenai Env. Alliance, Sierra Club, Eastside Road District and public officials including Mayor Larkin, Post Falls once SVCRC members first began to learn about the site. Many other individuals and groups outside the Old Mission area have also called for this project to be abandoned. "Until someone lives in a community that has been so badly devastated and suppressed as those living in the epicenter of one of the nations largest Superfund sites, it is difficult to understand the importance of affected citizens being properly informed and speaking out", says Dr. Bob Colonna, consultant for SVCRC. "We believe the actions taken by EPA to not hold meetings for the public is deliberate and that Congressman Minnick has the best interests of his constituency in focus".

CERCLA law that directs Superfund and cleanups calls for community involvement and not just 9 people who Region Ten originally contacted several years ago. A recent open house where only 2 affected citizens showed up was an indication of the limited outreach and distrust individuals have of the agencies. Several attempts have been made to correct the erroneous information given to the OIG pertaining to community involvement for the investigation they conducted this past summer.

"I am outraged that Congressman Minnick is not seeing the abuse of taxpayers money and the ongoing exploitation of families of children that is taking place in the Superfund site", Gayle Eversole a SVCRC member, "and I don't even live there".

Facts relating to leaching causing perpetual toxic mine waste including lead, arsenic, antimony, and mercury will occur if the repository is established. As will human health risk exposure. Already public signs along the downstream river and lakes warn of the dangers associated with the pollution. This past summer many people who were speaking out against the Old Mission (EMF) repository kept EPA and IDEQ busy. The two agencies reacted in identifying new repositories in the Silver Valley. At least 75 more potential sites for downstream pollution are now listed. SVCRC members asked Andy Mork of IDEQ why the Mission site was chosen, his response was "because it is convenient". At meetings where future repositories are being discussed by EPA and IDEQ specifically in Osborn Idaho, citizens showed up to voice their opposition, IDEQ let them know they were going to establish the repositories whether people opposed them or not.

Calls to Congressman Minnick, 208-667-0127, 202-225-6611, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, 202-564-4700 by all those living downstream demanding a public meeting of all citizens in the site is imminent. Working together communities and children's health will be restored and protected.

Anyone or group wanting more information about the facts associated with the Old Mission Repository and why it is important to stop the it can contact SVCRC, 208-784-8891, and the other groups involved.

"It's important that other communities realize the long term problems they will face if they do not have the opportunity to learn about and stop the Old Mission toxic repository, SVCRC spokesperson.


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Censored News is published by censored journalist Brenda Norrell. A journalist for 27 years, Brenda lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, writing for Navajo Times, AP, USA Today, Lakota Times and other American Indian publications. After being censored and then terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, she began the Censored Blog to document the most censored issues. She currently serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, Narco News and CounterPunch. She was cohost of the 5-month Longest Walk Talk Radio across America, with Earthcycles Producer Govinda Dalton in 2008:
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