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Title:Lake Management Plan won't work, news release
Author: Kootenai Environmental Alliance and The Lands Council
Date: November 7, 2002 | ID#: 021107
Category: Coeur d'Alene Superfund
Keywords: Lake Coeur d'Alene, Superfund, de-list, EPA, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, Coeur d'Alene Tribe 

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November 7, 2002
Barry Rosenberg, Executive Director, Kootenai Environmental Alliance: (208) 667-9093
Neil Beaver, Water Watch Coordinator, The Lands Council: (509) 838-4912

Conservationists say that the draft Lake Coeur d'Alene Management Plan is not sufficient to allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to de-list Lake Coeur d'Alene (Coeur d'Alene) from it's current superfund designation. The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Coeur d'Alene Tribe (Tribe) published the document on October 12.

"This Plan is a hollow shell decorated with lots of words. It's a political, not environmental document--it protects the special interests, timber, mining and agriculture, not Lake Coeur d'Alene," said Barry Rosenberg, executive director of the Kootenai Environmental Alliance (KEA).

"Except for compliance with existing laws, this plan has no regulatory authority, no guaranteed source of funding and relies on voluntary compliance. Given these fundamental deficiencies and the gravity of the situation, we don't see how the EPA can possibly think this plan is sufficient to de-list the Lake," said Neil Beaver, Water Watch Coordinator for The Lands Council that is based in Spokane Washington.

Rosenberg said that the DEQ and the Coeur d'Alene Tribe paid lip service to KEA's input. "Even though we spent many hours attending DEQ and Tribe sponsored meetings on the Plan, I didn't have any expectations that any of KEA'S recommendations would be included. When the timber industry representatives said that all of the protections KEA suggested were unacceptable, they were swept off the table. The public comment process is a sham unless you belong to the controlling political and industrial fraternity," Rosenberg concluded.

Beaver said that the forestry section of the current Plan is weaker than the one developed in 1996. "It no longer recommends that funding be secured to insure maintenance of forest roads--the lack of maintenance is acknowledged to be one of the major contributors of sediment and nutrients."


PO Box 1598, Coeur d'Alene, ID 83816-1598
phone/fax (208) 667-9093