Mining leaves Idaho choking

In the Idaho panhandle, where government is the enemy, the mining industry has enjoyed a century of mostly profitable and largely unregulated business which has left the surrounding ecology poisoned and many local residents deathly ill. This month the US State Department and the Couer d’Alene Tribal Council will fight back in court with a $1 billion lawsuit, according to CASCADIA TIMES.

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People living near the mines have reported health problems they attribute to lead poisoning. In 1974, a Couer d’Alene child was found to have the highest blood level of lead ever recorded. Shoshone County, where many of the mines are (or were) ranks first in Idaho for cancers associated with arsenic poisoning, including cancers of the bladder, kidney, colon and larynx.

The battle is an uphill one for environmentalists. “This is a region that is frighteningly anti-government,” says Bob Bostwick, a spokesman for the Coeur d’ Alene Tribal Council. “They seem to be mad at everyone except the mining industry that dumped this stuff on top of them.”