Share story

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Legislation aimed at removing a federal Superfund site designation in northern Idaho has failed to advance amid concerns state taxpayers could end up on the hook for millions of dollars in cleanup costs.

The House Resources and Conservation Committee voted 15-2 on Tuesday to hold in committee the House concurrent resolution put forward by Republican Rep. Priscilla Giddings.

The legislation involved the state petitioning the federal government to lift the Superfund designation for some populated areas of what is generally called the Coeur d’Alene River Basin Cleanup Site.

Giddings says the area has the potential to become a resort destination rivaling central Idaho’s Sun Valley if not for the stigma of having a Superfund designation due to a century of mining pollution.

But lawmakers had concerns that local elected leaders opposed lifting the Superfund designation out of fear they’d lose federal money coming in for cleanup and checking children for lead poisoning.