Tundra swans, a federally-protected migratory bird adversely affected by hazardous substances at the Bunker Hill Superfund site, over-wintering in the lower Coeur d’Alene Basin, Idaho. Photo credit: FWS.
On January 19, 2012 the United States and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe settled claims for response costs and natural resource damages against 7 mining companies liable for the release, or threatened release, of hazardous substances at Operable Unit 3, also known as the Coeur d’Alene Basin, at the Bunker Hill Mining and Metallurgical Complex Superfund site in northern Idaho. The Consent Decree was entered by the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho.
The settling companies will pay damages of $59,625 plus an apportioned amount of future proceeds from ore smelting operations for injuries to natural resources caused by hazardous substances in the Coeur d’Alene Basin. The natural resource trustees involved this case includes Department of the Interior (DOI), U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. Four DOI bureaus -- the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service -- are participating in this case.