Silver Valley

At Superfund Site, Pavement Used To Help The Environment

May 13, 2014
EPA

The nice weather we've been having means work on the ground is resuming at one of the largest Superfund sites in the nation. The EPA is trying to clear decades of mine pollution from Idaho's Coeur d'Alene River Basin. This summer managers are using an environmental remedy you might not expect: pavement.

May 2 marks the 40th anniversary of one of the worst mining disasters in U.S. history. In 1972, a fire broke out underground at the Sunshine Mine in Kellogg, Idaho; 91 men died of carbon monoxide poisoning. The disaster had a devastating effect on Kellogg and the nearby communities in Idaho’s Silver Valley. People who were there still vividly remember the events of that day. Producer Phyllis Silver talks with four people about their memories and how, in a couple of cases, it shaped the rest of their lives.

SILVER VALLEY, Idaho -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has decided to scale back plans for cleaning up Idaho’s Silver Valley. The region has been the site of a Superfund clean-up of mining waste since the 1980s. Steve Jackson has more on the story.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

WALLACE, Idaho - Residents of Idaho's Silver Valley are outraged over a federal order that will put 250 local miners out of work for a year. They expressed their frustration to Idaho Governor Butch Otter Monday at a town hall meeting in Wallace. Correspondent Jessica Robinson has more.

The Lucky Friday Mine in north Idaho is one of the deepest and most productive silver mines in the country. And in 2011, it had a string of accidents -– including two fatalities.