BOISE, ID – A just-released study from the Environmental Protection Agency shows Idaho far ahead of Oregon and Washington in toxic chemical releases.
Idaho reported a total of 67 million pounds of toxic chemical releases in 2010. That’s nearly double Washington and Oregon’s combined total of 38 million. Graham Kirn with the Environmental Protection Agency in Seattle says the mining industry is a major source.
Graham Kirn: “The metal mining releases in Idaho alone are greater than the total releases in the entire state of Washington or the entire state of Oregon.”
Kirn says Oregon has no mines and Washington has a few that are much smaller than Idaho’s. The number one source of toxic chemical releases is Hecla’s Lucky Friday Mine in Mullan. Not far behind is P4 Production in Soda Springs. That’s a Monsanto company that makes phosphorus for use in its Roundup brand of herbicides. The top ten facilities account for 93 percent of all releases in Idaho.
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