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Advisory committee makes final recommendation on strategies to reduce phosphorus pollution in Coeur d’Alene Basin

November 18, 2021

Contact: Dan McCracken, Coeur d’Alene Regional Administrator, Dan.McCracken@deq.idaho.gov

COEUR D’ALENE—The Coeur d’Alene Lake Advisory committee made its final recommendation yesterday, ranking a list of 22 pollutant-reduction projects that are eligible for funding under Governor Little’s Leading Idaho initiative.

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will now work to develop contracts with each applicant with the goal of utilizing the full $2 million to support projects that reduce phosphorus and metal contaminants in the Coeur d’Alene Basin.

“This effort has been more successful than I could have ever imagined,” said DEQ Director Jess Byrne. “The level of interest we’ve seen in protecting the lake and reducing nutrients going into it is very encouraging and I think speaks volumes to just how important Coeur d’Alene Lake is to everyone in the area and the state overall. I’m confident that this is just the beginning of meaningful nutrient reduction projects within the Coeur d’Alene Lake watershed.”

“This exercise with DEQ and the committee has allowed us to take the challenge of phosphorus reduction to a tactical approach for the greater benefit of our lake,” said Committee Chairman Chris Fillios. 

In August 2020, Governor Little established the Coeur d’Alene Lake Advisory Committee, which was tasked with soliciting and reviewing projects that reduce nutrients in the Coeur d’Alene Basin. The committee received 27 applications, which resulted in 40 individual project proposals. Each underwent a technical review by DEQ staff based on the cost per pound of phosphorus reduced, the total amount of phosphorus reduced, and the overall timeline, among other criteria. The committee considered DEQ’s technical review and other factors in determining a ranking of a subset of the 40 individual projects.

The committee’s recommendation includes the following projects, though the final list is subject to change depending on contract amounts and remaining funds:

  • Sanders Beach Stormwater, City of Coeur d’Alene
  • Bunker Creek Outfall, City of Kellogg
  • Independence Point Stormwater, City of Coeur d’Alene
  • North Kellogg Outfall, City of Kellogg
  • Marmot Trail Stormwater, East Side Highway District
  • Coeur d’Alene River Stabilization, Kootenai-Shoshone Soil and Water Conservation District
  • St. Joe River Phosphate Reduction, Benewah Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Mullan Avenue Stormwater, City of Coeur d’Alene
  • Mica Creek Watershed Agricultural Sediment Reduction and Improvement Project, Kootenai-Shoshone Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Hill Street Outfall, City of Kellogg
  • City of Plummer and Stimson Lumber Company Municipal Wastewater Reuse Project, City of Plummer

Project recommendations will now go to the Panhandle Basin Advisory Group for concurrence and a final decision will be made by DEQ’s director.

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