Frequently Asked Questions
The Basin Environmental Improvement Commission (the Commission) was created by the Idaho legislature under the Basin Environmental Improvement Act of 2001 (Idaho Code Title 39, Chapter 81). In this chapter, it is the policy of the State to provide a system for environmental remediation, natural resource restoration and related measures to address heavy metal contamination in the Coeur d'Alene Basin. The system provided is intended to protect and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the people of Idaho in a manner consistent with local, State, Federal and tribal participation and resources.
The Commission is made up of representatives of the State of Idaho, the three Idaho counties in the Basin, the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, the State of Washington, and the United States of America. The Commission became operational in March of 2002 with the execution of the order from the director of the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and participation of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, Benewah, Kootenai, and Shoshone Counties, and State of Idaho. In August 2002, the State of Washington and Federal Government joined the Commission through the execution of a Memorandum of Agreement agreed to by the seven governments.
This Memorandum of Agreement or MOA affirmed the dual roles of the Basin Commission to exercise certain State authorities as set forth in the enabling legislation, and to coordinate the Commission's activities and authorities with those of other entities operating in the Basin to achieve a similar purpose. Under the MOA, the Commission is established to implement, direct, and/or coordinate environmental remediation, natural resource restoration, and related measures to address water quality and heavy metal contamination. This includes coordinating the implementation of the 2002 Record of Decision approved pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation Liability Act (CERCLA). In addition, the Commission has agreed to address implementation of Phase II of the Bunker Hill Comprehensive Cleanup Plan, adoption and implementation/coordination of the Lake Coeur d'Alene Management Plan, and remediation of heavy metal contamination at specific mining sites in the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River.
Curt Fransen, State of Idaho