Protecting Public Health and the Environment.
The Coeur d'Alene Region is the northernmost of DEQ's six regions and encompasses the counties of Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai, and Shoshone. The region is home to 13.8% of the state's population and is growing rapidly. Among its many assets are three large lakes - Coeur d'Alene, Priest, and Pend Oreille, a host of smaller lakes, Silverwood Theme Park, and Schweitzer and Silver Mountain ski areas. As such, it is a major tourist destination. The region's principal industries include agriculture, timber, mining, and recreation.
DEQ's Coeur d'Alene Regional Office monitors air quality at four locations in the state's northernmost counties. Summary reports on air pollutant levels are compiled monthly and posted here.
The West Silver Valley area, located at the western end of northern Idaho’s Silver Valley, is a historic mining area along the south fork of the Coeur d’Alene River. As a result of its geography and climate, the West Silver Valley area is susceptible to frequent inversions in the fall and winter, creating particulate matter air pollution. Learn about efforts to address air pollution in the valley and recent related developments here.
Basin and Watershed Advisory Groups, BAGs and WAGs, are panels of citizens that advise DEQ on water quality objectives and provide input and guidance on development of water quality improvement plans for specific watershed within DEQ's Coeur d'Alene Region. Learn more.
The Bunker Hill Mining and Metallurgical Site is located in Northern Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene River Basin. It became a Superfund site in 1983 as a result of metals contamination from historic mining operations in the Silver Valley. The site covers parts of northern Idaho and eastern Washington and is divided into three areas: the 21-square-mile “Box” populated area, the Box non-populated area, and the Coeur d’Alene Basin. Learn more.
Although Coeur d'Alene Lake is located in the Coeur d'Alene Basin Cleanup Operable Unit 3, remediation of the lake has been tackled separately from EPA's Records of Decision. In 2009, the Coeur d'Alene Tribe and DEQ collaboratively developed the 2009 Lake Management Plan outside the Superfund process using separate regulatory authorities. The goal of the plan is to protect and improve lake water quality by limiting basin-wide nutrient inputs that impair lake water quality conditions, which in turn influence the solubility of mining-related metals contamination contained in lake sediments. Learn more.
The Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer was the first aquifer in Idaho and the second in the nation to receive sole source designation as the sole or principal source of drinking water for an area. The aquifer originates at the southern end of Lake Pend Oreille in northern Idaho and extends west under the Rathdrum Prairie in Idaho and the Spokane Valley in Washington, underlying approximately 321 square miles of land. Learn more.
The Restoration Partnership is a collaborative effort to restore natural resources in the Coeur d’Alene Basin that were injured due to historic releases of contaminated mine waste. A restoration plan is being developed to guide selection and implementation of projects. This includes many opportunities for public involvement.
The Restoration Partnership was formed by the Coeur d’Alene Basin Natural Resource Trustees which are the U.S. Department of Interior (represented by the Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management), the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (represented by the U.S. Forest Service), and the State of Idaho (represented by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Idaho Department of Environmental Quality). Learn more.
The Response Action Maintenance Plan (RAMP) sets out the oversight and management activities of the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes for the state of Idaho, the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, and the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. Learn more.
Subbasin assessments and surface water quality improvement plans have been developed for a number of water bodies in DEQ's Coeur d'Alene Region. In addition, numerous studies have been conducted of ground water resources in the area. Access the plans and reports here.