MERCURY, LEAD, SMOKE…AND MIRRORS

OPINION

Recently, in the Coeur d Alene, Idaho region, the EPA has been busy. Three such episodes have drawn the CASTMD’s watchful eye: A supposedly stolen dental amalgam spread into a high school accidently by the same “playing around with the silver magical stuff” as in years past; some presumed lead toxic white Tundra swans at the mouth of the Coeur d Alene River from the old mining runoff; and what still continues, the toxic smoke from field burning.

The school incident was furiously covered by the media of the Northwest in my opinion…even the reps said there was little if any risk to anyone except possibly to the “playful” student and the student’s family. I even remember some readings stating the serious and potential deadly risks of mercury poisoning in the media…high doses or prolonged exposures. Is that what happened? I saw the “white cleanup bubble suits” reappear in the media. Private business methamphetamine cleanup, I thought.

Some of the lead (Pb) stories were listed with “Bird Flu” headlines! Bird flu…risk once again? Dig deep to get to the lead…and the story. According to some research biologists I have spoken with, the metals in the Coeur d Alene River basin have already been chelated…or engaged by plant life over the years. The fish are healthy and the fishing tournaments are going strong. A cleanup has been argued by all parties with vested interests…but what about nature’s handling of the matter?

Lastly, the grass fields will continue to burn in the region. A lawsuit was won against the grassgrowers in the region, and has paid or will pay some tiny amounts of monies to those who have suffered. Not all however. Not much money either, when compared to today’s incredible jury awards for limited damages, in general. The burning in this region will continue.

Last fall, during the field burning, while driving to an area casino golf course, and getting ready to tee off, the smoke was so thick, that some of us decided not tee off – and go back to the contaminated Coeur d Alene region.

No fresh air! No clean water! No sterile play areas! No pure schools! Night terrors and nightmares would now limit the explosion of title companies, bank startups, mortgage companies, open churches, highrise condo projects, Spokane River development and property tax severe hikes. What will the people do, where will they move to, how can they protect us?

Clean ups and their unique patterns of money “cleaning” are “smoked” enigmas. The EPA site in the Bunker Hill area of Kellogg Idaho now has massive construction projects at the skiing foothills…big diggers digging deep? It must be pure now. The Coeur d Alene River has new owners and casinos and lakeside building projects? It must be pure now. The high school is clean now. Open for toxin-free learning?

No one significantly sick in the school. No one significantly sick in the river. No one significantly sick in the ski area.

The cleanups must be working…thousands and millions of dollars have turned hands…

Risk is a lottery game payoff…

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