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No Risk to Human Health Detected at 22 Coeur D’Alene Lake Area Beaches

Release Date: 11/30/1998
Contact Information: Mark MacIntyre
(206) 553-7302

November 30, 1998 - - - - - - - - 98-61

EPA to Explain Sampling Results at Public Meeting Tuesday Night

For Immediate Release

An expedited analysis of water and soil samples taken by the EPA at 24 sites around Coeur d’ Alene Lake has shown that all but two sites pose no risk to human health. Test results at two of the sites -- Harrison Beach North and Blackwell Island Beach -- indicate that further analysis is needed.

Details of the sampling study will be presented by EPA staff and representatives of the sampling contractor at an open house(6:30 pm) and public meeting(7:00 pm) on Tuesday, December 1, in Coeur d’ Alene. The open house and meeting will be held at the Lake City Senior Center (1916 Lakewood Drive) and will include an update on the basin-wide Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS).

The sampling was conducted by the EPA to determine which public areas could be used by children and families without cause for concern about soil and water contamination. The contamination is believed to be a by-product of over a century of mining in the Basin.

According to Chuck Clarke, EPA regional administrator in Seattle, the sampling results will help paint a more complete picture of where clean up is needed and provide peace-of-mind for local residents.

“We’re trying to provide the best, most scientifically-credible information to Basin families as quickly as possible,” said Clarke. “The results of this round of sampling offer an important piece in the Basin cleanup puzzle. More pieces are needed for a complete picture, but we’re glad we can rule these areas out as far as needing clean up to protect human health.”

A portion of Tuesday night’s meeting will be dedicated to discussing the size and scope of the sampling effort, contaminants of concern and the levels of contamination encountered. There will also be a brief update on the RI/FS, with a chance for questions following each presentation segment.

“Since beginning our study, we’ve been – and remain – committed to protecting human health and the environment in the least-disruptive way possible.” EPA’s Clarke said. “By working in partnership with the State and the Panhandle Health District, we’re confident that we can all gain a better understanding of the level of risk posed by contamination in the basin..”

Contact: Earl Liverman, EPA/Coeur d’Alene 208-664-4858

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