Projects making a difference
Ecology, tribes, other agencies, stakeholders, and the general public are working to find wise solutions and improve and preserve the Spokane River. Links to some of these projects are listed below and in the columns on the left and right.
Historic mining practices in the Coeur d’Alene basin resulted in contaminants known as heavy metals washing downstream from Idaho. These metals such as lead, arsenic, zinc, and cadmium settled in sediments at certain shorelines along the Spokane River. Eight beaches identified for cleanup are now completed. PCBs at Upriver Dam and Donkey Island were also addressed.
Ecology has engaged citizens throughout the state in a dialogue about current fish consumption rates. Public hearings were held and comments evaluated. A new technical document is now available.
Keeping water in the Spokane River is a priority for all of us. We have begun the process that allows the development of an instream flow rule for the Spokane River and Spokane Valley Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer. Once an instream flow is set, Ecology will use the rule as a regulatory flow threshold to determine whether there is water to withdraw for new uses while still protecting fish and other instream resources.
A clean and flowing river is good for the environment and good for our economy. If you would like to be kept informed about this rule-making and receive updates, please sign up for the listserv at this link: please sign up for our listserv.
Ecology is seeking public comment September 4 to October 4, 2013 to finalize the 2010 Closure Plan revised in August 2013. The Kaiser site is located at 15000 East Euclid Avenue, along the Spokane River in the Spokane Valley.
Ecology's Hazardous Waste Program is working with Kaiser to close 3 specific hazardous waste units. Kaiser is required to meet federal (RCRA1) closure requirements for all hazardous waste management units. The closure requirements ensure all hazardous wastes are removed and properly managed, and any contamination is cleaned up.
Thirteen governmental agencies, private industries, and environmental organizations signed a Memorandum of Agreement to form the task force. The task force is leading efforts to find and reduce toxics in the Spokane River and Lake Spokane.
This is Ecology’s strategy, or “road map,” for reducing and removing toxic contamination in water, water sediments and soil in the Spokane River watershed in Washington State. It includes major actions already accomplished. The strategy spans across multiple Ecology programs and address toxic substances in the products we buy to cleanups of legacy pollutants in the Spokane community. This is a living document; we will build on this road map, adding new initiatives, strategies and successes while it is being implemented.
A team of Ecology scientists, technical staff, and specialists from the Spokane Regional Health District are sampling water and visiting businesses along the river to identify sources of toxic chemicals that affect the river. Reports that track sources may be found on the Urban Waters website.
Get Involved in River Issues
Spokane River Regional Toxics Task Force - Funding Opportunities 01/14/2014
Ecology News Release - Ecology approves Spokane County’s shoreline master program 01/10/2013
Spokane River Urban Waters Source Investigation and Data Analysis Report 2009-2011 - Tracing the Source for PCB, PBDE, Dioxin/Furan, Lead, Cadmium, and Zinc
Ecology News Release - Spokane River Regional Task Force – Improving the River 02/27/2012
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