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Letter to the Editor: Lead Pollution, a Moral Issue

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The Bunker Hill Mining Company in Kellogg, Idaho went bankrupt in 1981 creating our nation’s largest superfund (cleanup) site.  The mine continues to pollute at the site of the mine and downstream from Kellogg to Spokane. Lead leaches into the Spokane River from the mine and repositories like the one at the Cataldo Mission. The EPA’s move toward loosening the cleanup requirements will only increase the danger by allowing mining corporations to pollute at higher levels.

This environmental issue is a moral issue. The EPA’s tolerance for pollution disproportionately affects the poor and minority populations. 

All citizens must become moral voices for the health of our Spokane River, our region, and our people. Speak up by:

1)  Demanding that the EPA shut down the Cataldo Mission toxic soil dump and build permanent leach-free sites.

2)  Requiring part of the EPA cleanup funding be dedicated to lead health initiatives such as “Children Run Better Unleaded (CRBU).” 

3) Attending the Dec. 29, CBRU planning meeting at Silver Valley Resource Center, 204 Oregon, Kellogg, Idaho.

4)  Becoming informed regarding other toxic sites such as Midnite Mine (uranium) and the proposed Newport Smelter.

Faith Leaders and Leaders of Conscience cannot ignore this moral issue. 

Rev. Gen Heywood, Convener

Barbara Miller, Director of Silver Valley Resource Center

About Gen Heywood

Gen Heywood is the pastor of Veradale United Church of Christ in Spokane Valley and is organizing a group called "Faith Leaders and Leaders of Conscience" in Eastern Washington and North Idaho.

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