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OTTER: He's right about ROD

| November 19, 2010 9:00 PM

Gov. Otter is correct in his statements pertaining to EPA's Record of Decision plan for the Bunker Hill Superfund site, specifically, that most people do not understand what a Record of Decision is. Region Ten does, and they, along with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and the Coeur d'Alene Basin Commission, are the ones who need to listen to affected citizens, because community involvement is a mandate of CERCLA (Superfund), the law that governs what EPA does.

So far the representatives are not listening. At least they are not listening to more than 2,000 individuals, 70 groups from all over the United States, and local environmental groups such as the Kootenai Environmental Alliance, Center for Justice, Sierra Club and mayors from cities who live in the communities throughout the 1,500-square-mile superfund site who are asking for permanent waste disposal of hazardous waste versus using the huge toxic waste repositories such as the one being built by the Old Mission at Cataldo.

Gov. Otter expresses these same concerns of water quality and a healthy community. This is the message expressed by those who have spoken out since learning about the Old Mission repository that is being built in a floodplain/wet land, a factor well acknowledged by Region Ten even before the property was purchased. A serious problem is that repositories, by law, are only intended as temporary storage for toxic waste. Over and over again, for the last 20 years, the Silver Valley Community Resource Center has asked Region Ten to explore permanent waste technology, technology that already exists. Like those who speak out for all the sound and scientific reasons against the Mission Repository, these voices have never been recognized. Permanent waste disposal will not cost any cleanup jobs but in the long run will provide more jobs and save money which will help the local economy. Local job hiring is a grassroots victory undertaken by SVCRC and the Upper Basin community begun years ago and EPA has long supported.

Keep those calls and e-mails going to Lisa Jackson, EPA Administrator, e-mail address: Jackson.Lisap@epa.gov, phone, 202-564-4700 if you really want your concerns addressed for the Bunker Hill cleanup.

RON JOHNSON

Post Falls

SVCRC Board of Directors

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