We invite you to review and comment on the draft periodic review report, which includes the results of our site condition review to ensure cleanup is still protective.
Contaminants from historic mining practices in Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene Basin washed downstream and settled in soil and sediment along some Spokane River beaches.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted studies of the mining contaminants in the Coeur d’Alene Basin and began a wide-spread cleanup of the Bunker Hill Mining and Metallurgical Superfund Site. As part of the EPA study and studies Ecology conducted, nine beaches in Washington were cleaned up.
Periodic review results
The cleanups continue to protect human health and the environment from the capped contaminated sediments. However, contaminant concentrations have increased in some cases and new contaminated sediments have been deposited on the caps. This likely means upstream sources are continuing to impact the river and could pose a risk to human health and the environment if they are not controlled.
We will continue monitoring to ensure that the sites continue to be safe for human health and the environment. A monitoring study evaluating sediments entering the site at the Washington-Idaho border would help assess the potential for recontamination.
Ecology will review all comments received during the comment period and update the periodic review if needed. If no significant changes are made, the periodic review will become final. If significant changes are made, an additional public comment period will be held. We will hold an online public meeting if 10 or more people request one.
About periodic reviews
We complete a periodic review about every five years after cleanup construction is complete at a site when institutional controls are part of the cleanup. Institutional controls can be fences, signs, or restrictions on how the property is used. For instance, an institutional control may prohibit installing drinking water wells or disturbing a protective cap that isolates contamination. These restrictions keep the contamination contained and keep people from being exposed to the contamination.
The purpose of the periodic review is to make sure the controls remain effective and the cleanup still protects human health and the environment. This is the first periodic review for these cleanup sites.