The January 27, 2003 meeting of the Citizen Coordinating Council (CCC) of
the Basin Environmental Improvement Project Commission (Basin Commission)
was structured to do the following:
- Provide a forum for interested citizens to learn about and comment on
preliminary workplan recommendations being prepared by the Basin Commission’s
Technical Leadership Group (TLG);
- Enable the CCC to begin to discuss an organizational structure (as proposed
by a small working group of the CCC); and
- Initiate CCC thinking on an approach to prepare citizens’ comments on
a forthcoming proposed 2003 Basin Commission workplan (being prepared by
the Technical Leadership Group).
Review of Preliminary Workplan Proposals
The first major session at the meeting focused on preliminary workplan recommendations
under development by the Basin Commission’s Technical Leadership Group (TLG).
In November 2002, the Technical Leadership Group established several “Project
Focus Teams” (or, PFTs) to lead Basin Commission workplan development efforts.
Several CCC members have been actively involved in these workplanning efforts.
On January 27, lead representatives from each of the active PFTs reported
their preliminary one-year workplan recommendations to the CCC. At the end
of each presentation, citizens were asked to comment on the preliminary workplan
ideas. These comments were recorded and were reviewed on January 28, 2003
by the TLG as part of its deliberations.
Preliminary workplan recommendations for Human Health-Residential projects
was the first topic of discussion. Rob Hanson, IDEQ, described the Human
Health-Residential PFT recommendations. He notified the CCC that the PFT
was considering recommending that the 2003 yard cleanup work be focused in
Osburn. The workplan proposal calls for cleanup in up to 200 yards. Citizens
offered a variety of comments and posed several questions related to the PFT’s
- Finish the Box cleanup before moving to other areas
- Focus on cleanup (vs. beautification)
- How will health-related concerns in Harrison/Chain Lakes/exterior reservation/Rails-to-Trails
be incorporated into this effort?
- Can health studies look at lifecycle effects of lead (and other metals)
- Might lead contamination be attributable to other sources (e.g., historic
use of leaded gasoline)?
- Expand the Lead Health Intervention Program to determine the location
and extent of elevated lead levels (before digging up any yards).
Citizens also recommending that a health database be developed to track the
long-term effects on residents of exposure to lead. (NOTE: Department of
Health would likely be the agency responsible for developing such a database.)
Human Health—Recreation Areas
Angela Chung (EPA Region 10) then reviewed the Human Health PFT’s preliminary
recommendations for remediating recreation areas. The PFT has selected four
sites for further evaluation: East of Rose Lake; Blackrock Gulch; Long Beach/Sprigston;
and Mission Slough. Each location is publicly owned (but not by a federal
agency) and accessible by land and water.
Citizen comments included the following:
- Focus on clean up, not just beautification
- Finish the work in a timely manner
- Talk to AVISTA about the survey of recreation sites they are currently
Phillip Cernera (Coeur d’Alene Tribe and interim staff to the Basin Commission)
reviewed the PFT’s preliminary ideas for lake monitoring and education projects.
The PFT is working to design a program to monitor the effectiveness of implementation
of the Record of Decision and Lake Management Plan. The monitoring program
will help set a baseline for water quality and biota measures. The education
and information effort will be geared toward empowering lake users to understand
how their actions affect water quality.
Citizens offered the following comments:
- The SRA is concerned about the location of the monitoring stations and
want to monitor at the state line
- The PFT should coordinate with AVISTA
- Consider how to take advantage of citizen monitoring efforts
- How can the PFT develop its monitoring plan before the Lake Management
Plan is finalized?
- Design the outreach strategy to reach as many lake property owners as
A few citizens also expressed concerns about the Lake Management Plan currently
out for review. Key among the issues raised were the desire for greater
clarity on the deletion process (information needed, threshold decisions,
monitoring systems, etc.).
Upper Basin Source Areas
Bill Adams (EPA Region 10) presented the Upper Basin PFT’s preliminary recommendations.
He explained that specific activity sites will be selected based on landowners’
willingness to permit the cleanup on their properties. The projects’ focus
will be on human health and ecological risk factors. Areas used for recreation
(e.g., offroad vehicle use) are one primary target. Citizens made the following
- The community of Sisters has a small population (with low traffic) and
maybe should not be included on the list of potential sites.
- Private landowners may not want to take steps to make their properties
more amenable to recreation.
- Other areas (outside of the Upper Basin) may deserve priority attention.
[NOTE: The CCC was reminded that the funding request was targeted for the
- It may make sense to start at the far end of the Upper Basin (e.g., near
Mullan) and move down.
John Roland (WA Department of Ecology and interim Basin Commission staff)
presented on behalf of the Streambank Stabilization PFT. The PFT’s preliminary
workplan calls for an initial evaluation of potential sites (to be followed
by the selection of site(s) for bank stabilization work). Citizens commented
that they were especially interested in getting projects on-the-ground.
Shallan Dawson, attending on behalf of the Kootenai-Shoshone Soil and Water
Conservation District described an alternative path-forward to this group.
The alternative proposal called for extending an ongoing streambank stabilization
project by 3000 feet. [NOTE: Both proposals were also discussed at the January
28 TLG meeting.]
Luke Russell (IDEQ and interim Basin Commission staff) and Bill Adams (EPA
Region 10) described two separate water treatment projects: the Mullan I/I
(Infiltration and Inflow) and Canyon Creek projects. Both projects are demonstration
projects intended to test different technologies. Citizens asked whether
the Mullan project had received any negative feedback and commented that proven
Organizational Structure Discussion
The evening’s second major session focused on a proposal for structuring
the leadership (and membership) of the CCC to facilitate discussion, communication,
and preparation of issues for presentation to the Basin Commission Board.
Neil Beaver presented on behalf of a CCC “Organizing Group” that has been
meeting since December to consider various CCC organizational issues. He
described the several key features of the organizational structure under consideration,
including the following.
- The CCC is led by a chair and vice-chair who run CCC meetings, work closely
with the TLG and Board leadership to ensure the CCC is focused on relevant
issues, and organize/present citizens’ perspectives on any given issue to
the Board. The chair and vice-chair are expected to make a one-year commitment
to the positions.
- The chair and vice-chair are supported by a “Small Integration Group”
(or SIG), a geographically diverse group of individuals who serve as an
“information conduit” to various “regions” around the Basin. The SIG also
helps collect and relay the range of citizen perspectives on any issue.
SIG members are expected to make a one-year commitment to the positions.
- Each “region” elects one representative to sit on the SIG. The eight
proposed regions are: Upper Basin; the “Box”; Lower Basin/Chain Lakes (including
Harrison and the exterior reservation); Coeur d’Alene Lake/Spokane River
property owners; Benewah County/St. Joe River/St. Maries; cities of Post
Falls and Coeur d’Alene; current reservation lands; and Washington state.
- Each region can nominate one candidate to be considered for either the
chair and vice-chair positions. The full CCC membership votes to elect
- New chair/vice-chair elections can be called at any time 2/3 of the CCC
membership perceives (and votes) that the individual(s) cannot execute the
duties of the position.
The CCC had limited time to discuss this proposal. Some members questioned
whether the chair and vice-chair should be compensated for their time. Others
expressed support for the general approach and asked the group to continue
working on the proposal. Meeting participants asked for an update/full proposal
at the next CCC meeting.
In the final session, the CCC decided to hold a meeting on February 20 to
discuss/act on the organizational structure proposal and review and prepare
comments on the TLG’s proposed 2003 workplans recommendations. The meeting
adjourned at 9:00pm.