Saturday, September 30, 2023

MY TURN: Thank you to Cd'A Basin community

by TERRY HARWOOD/Guest Opinion
| September 12, 2023 1:00 AM

Just a note to say thank you to the Coeur d’Alene Basin Community for the opportunity I have had to serve them as executive director of the Coeur d'Alene Basin Environmental Improvement Project Commission (BEIPC). When I retired from federal service in 2002 from the Bush administration in Washington, D.C., and returned home to North Idaho, I did not realize what was in store for me. I knew I would be building our retirement home in Kootenai County on land we had owned for years.

I wasn’t retired a month when the Forest Service hired me as an environmental engineering consultant and one thing led to another and the chair of the BEIPC and EPA requested that I apply for the BEIPC executive director position. I assumed those duties in 2004 and have been in the job to this day. It has been a very fulfilling position working with the seven governments of the commission represented by past and current leaders including Washington represented by the Department of Ecology; Idaho by the Department of Environmental Quality; EPA with recognition to Ed Moreen; the Coeur d'Alene Tribe and Rebecca Stevens; Benewah County and my old friend, Jack Buell; Kootenai County and current BEIPC Chair Leslie Duncan and Shoshone County; and also with the community leaders in the Silver Valley, especially Mac Pooler and Kip McGillivray.

The purpose of the BEIPC is to coordinate the cleanup and restoration of the environment in the Cd'A Basin with special emphasis on human health protection. We have been very successful in implementing the required Superfund actions on the Bunker Hill Superfund Site encompassing the Basin from Lookout Pass to Spokane.

The BEIPC is a fine example of government serving the public where seven governments and over 20 agencies work together to coordinate efforts for the good of the people, especially when they have differing technical and political positions on issues, different ideas on how to approach problems and differing responsibilities but still work together in a cooperative manner to get things done. They do not call each other derogatory names either!

As I retire at the end of September, I hope the BEIPC will continue to be successful, and the public will become more involved in the environmental process. If you are interested, check the BEIPC web at for info.

Thanks again to all involved.

• • •

Terry Harwood, PE, is executive director of the Coeur d'Alene Basin Environmental Improvement Project Commission.

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