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National Academy of Sciences schedules first public meeting assessing water quality in Coeur d’Alene Lake

February 10, 2021

BOISE — The National Academy of Sciences will host the first public meeting of the Committee on the Future of Water Quality in Coeur d’Alene Lake later this month.

The meeting will take place virtually and will include two open sessions with presentations from study sponsors and an open-mic period to hear stakeholder comments at the end of the first session. The public is encouraged to attend.

The first session is scheduled for February 24, 2021, from 8:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. PST and will include introductory and background information related to the Coeur d’Alene Basin as well as goals for the study. The second session is scheduled for February 26, 2021, 8 to 11 a.m. PST and will be more technical in nature, covering previous data collection, analyses, and modeling efforts.

In 2020, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, Kootenai County, and the US Environmental Protection Agency, with the support of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, asked the National Academy of Sciences to analyze water quality data in Coeur d’Alene Lake and provide recommendations to address issues of concern.

Historical mining activities deposited millions of tons of contaminated sediment into Coeur d’Alene Lake and its tributaries, including zinc, cadmium, and lead. Since the implementation of environmental regulations in the mid-1970s, metal concentrations have declined, though lakeshore development, land use changes, and increased nutrient loads could reverse this success.

The National Academy of Sciences convened an initial meeting of subject matter experts on November 20, 2020, and will proceed with this study over the next 18 months.  

Staff Contact

Jamie Brunner
Lake Management Plan Supervisor
Jamie.Brunner@deq.idaho.gov

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