EPA project underway at Star Mine

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Courtesy photo Workers with the Coeur d’Alene Work Trust will be utilizing a drill similar to this to collect groundwater samples and drill test wells up Burke Canyon in the coming weeks.

BURKE — The Coeur d’Alene Work Trust has announced the continuation of an investigatory project regarding the continued pollution coming from the Hecla Star Mining Complex next to Canyon Creek in Burke.

The six-week project, that began on Monday, will include surface and deep soil sampling to determine the nature of the contamination up the canyon.

The Hecla-owned Star Mine is one of several mines at the center of the massive Superfund cleanup effort by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that has been going on in Shoshone County since the mid-1980s.

Dan Meyer with the Coeur d’Alene Trust detailed out the purpose of the investigation, as well as what they were going to be doing.

“What we are looking to do is to try and determine the nature and extent of the contamination that is coming from the Star Mine,” Meyer said. “We will be doing some drilling to see how much of the groundwater is being contaminated. We will also be looking at some of the many portals that are up there to see what contaminants are coming from them as well.”

The main purpose of the investigation built off old site studies in hopes of determining the current extent of the contamination, but it will also give the agencies the chance to dig new groundwater monitoring wells that will provide more accurate information.

The EPA would like to thank the residents of Burke Canyon for their patience and also let them know that there will be increased truck traffic, as well as the potential for loud drilling sounds in the canyon.

Anyone with questions or concerns about the project should contact the Coeur d’Alene Work Trust at 208-783-0222.

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