A river basin cleanup in north Idaho is showing just how difficult it is to remove long-term pollution from Northwest waterways. This month, the EPA is running tests on layers of muck from the bottom of the Coeur d'Alene River. It’s downstream from a federal superfund site.
A technician lowers a 7-foot tube into the riverbed, like a straw into a piece of bread.
Federal regulators say the Amalgamated Sugar Co. has agreed to pay $7,500 for violating the Clean Water Act at its facility in Paul.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced the enforcement action Monday.
EPA investigators say the company discharged stormwater without a permit last year. The agency cited the company for discharging 4,000 gallons of stormwater from a storage lagoon to a drainage and irrigation ditch that empties into the Snake River without permission in its permit.
Idaho water quality regulators must go back to the drawing board after the federal Environmental Protection Agency rejected a rule that allowed some pollution to be discharged into state waterways without a review.
In 2011, the EPA actually approved an Idaho Department of Environmental Quality rule exempting activities such as mining from review in some instances, provided their accompanying water pollution fell below a certain threshold.
Anyone who wants to mine gold in Idaho streams with a suction dredge will need to get a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency.
For years, people have flocked to a stretch of the Salmon River north of Riggins to mine for gold. Many of them have used a suction dredge to extract the precious metal from the gravel and silt on the river bottom. Until now, the EPA didn’t require these modern day prospectors to get permission if they used small-scale dredges.
An apple orchard east of the Washington Cascades. The EPA banned home use of chlorpyrifos in 2001 because it can harm the nervous system. But it’s still commonly used on crops like wheat, alfalfa and apples in the Northwest.
The owners of a Caldwell frozen bread and cinnamon roll plant will pay the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency more than $84,000 for hazardous chemical violations.
The EPA announced Monday that Rhodes International stored large amounts of anhydrous ammonia at its Caldwell facility without proper reporting to public safety officials. The chemical is a toxic gas that can cause serious injury or death.
Mike and Chantell Sackett imagine a rustic, three-bedroom A-frame, with views of Priest Lake and the rugged landscape that surrounds it. But the EPA told them in 2007 that because their plot is designated as a wetland, they could face steep fines for building.
The coupled hired engineers who dispute that finding. But they never had a chance to argue that point. In an interview last fall, Chantell Sackett said the case comes down to this exchange with a EPA manager.
"I said, 'So, why would I stop building my house? She said, 'Because we told you to.'"
A north Idaho couple is celebrating a major legal victory at the nation's highest court. Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Mike and Chantell Sackett have the right to challenge a decision by federal regulators that their property is a protected wetland.