Coeur d'Alene Tribe, Idaho

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Clean up of lead contamination around homes in the Coeur d'Alene River Basin likely will focus on the area from Mullan to Enaville, a preliminary plan developed by a consortium of tribal, state and federal agencies suggests. A final version will be released in July, but members of the Coeur d'Alene Basin Commission were briefed at their May 16 meeting. The 10-page progress report previews one of the nation's most extensive cleanup studies. It cost $10.5 million and was years in the making. It suggests yards with lead levels greater than 1,000 parts per million in soils could be tagged for cleanup while those with 700 to 1,000 parts per million could be candidates for planting vegetation to contain contamination. Ecological concerns would be prioritized and completed over many years as money is available. The governments singled out three areas of concern: dissolved metals in rivers and streams, lead in wetlands and floodplains and small particles of lead in surface water. Swimmers, waders and sunbathers need not be concerned about health effects from Lake Coeur d'Alene, it said. Beaches were found to be safe. There may be risks to fish in the lake, so the management plan in place should be maintained.