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Kootenai Tribe of Idaho

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The Idaho Department of Commerce has denied a $500,000 rural community block grant to the tribe for financing and engineering of a proposed waste-to-energy incinerator. The tribe touted the proposed $25 million incinerator as an environmentally sound way to bring jobs and energy to Boundary County. But opponents fear the plant would pollute the area without doing much to reduce the waste being sent to landfills. Boundary County commissioners wrote a letter in support of the block grant. Opponents plan to meet with them in an attempt to change their minds. Steve Garwood, Kootenai business manager, said the tribal council will meet with the project management company in August to discuss the economics of the incinerator and decide whether to continue with the project. Garwood said he plans to recommend an environmental impact statement. "An EIS would be a good thing,'' Garwood said. "It would help dispel the fear mongering.''