Silver Valley Action

EMF: Old Mission Repository Fact Sheet  

Fact Sheet 2010

Realizing the audacity of putting a toxic waste dump on 20 acres at the Old Mission National Historic site, more than 2000 individuals have publicly said NO for more than 2 years to the East Mission Flats (EMF) toxic waste site at the Old Mission at Cataldo.


Webster defines ‘toxic’as poisonous. Since the 1970s when the National Center for Disease Control learned of the lead poisoning of innocent children and records of all the workers at the Bunker Hill mine and smelter were finally disclosed, millions and millions of dollars have poured into the epicenter (or "box") of the Bunker Hill Superfund site, to conduct studies of residents and children.

Now EPA/Idaho Dept. of Environmental Quality is constructing yet another toxic waste dump in the Silver Valley.

Additional facts regarding the building of the Old Mission Repository:

·         Idaho Dept. of Environmental Quality receives between 65-70% of their budget from EPA! This represents a major conflict of interest.

·         Andy Mork of IDEQ flies from Boise to make personal contact with anyone who publically speaks out against the repository.

·         With the potential of more than 80 future repository sites located for dumping in the Silver Valley, the EMF site was selected for its closeness to the freeway, ignoring the National Historic Landmark. Mork's reply when asked, "Why use the Old Mission?" he said, "Because it is convenient."

EPA and IDEQ tell us there is no guarantee that pollution will not leach out at this site to contaminate recreational areas, beaches, wells, towns and communities.  This provides for more lead and heavy metal exposure to all people living downstream.

We have documentation that EPA/IDEQ plans to put tons of pollution at the Old Mission Repository.  Those who are designing the Coeur d’Alene Lake Management cleanup plan have excluded the downstream potential pollution of the Old Mission toxic waste dump. Instead, hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars will be spent to clean up toxins in and around the lake, only to have this pollution continue to contaminate these areas.  This is a futile and dangerous action because repositories being built against the wishes of more than 2000 citizens in the Silver Valley communities.

Since 1998 citizens living in the epicenter of the nation’s largest Superfund site have been saying NO to repositories. According to Terry Harwood, basin commission director, "27 million cubic yards is in the Central Impoundment repository that sits in a floodplain in downtown Kellogg; Mood Gulch repository within 100 feet of Moon Creek, sits in a floodplain; Page Repository at Smelterville sits in a wetland and floodplain; Big Creek sits at the mouth of Big Creek". The repository in Burke Canyon upstream from the other toxic repositories is not reported in any public documentation when discussing dumping sites in the Silver Valley.

This is not a political issue.  This is a human health issue.  This affects the health and wellbeing of every single person in this 1500 square mile Superfund site and future generations of our families and children.

Destruction of the wetlands and the environmental devastation going on today at the Old Mission Repository is the very beginning of years of dumping that will be occurring in this beautiful area of God's earth.

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