Statements from Silver Valley

Inspired by our plan to send a statement to Ben Carson from the Springfield Fair Housing and Civil Rights conference (April 6), the Silver Valley Community Resource Center is sending the following letter to Scott Pruitt, administrator of EPA:
Dear Mr. Scott Pruitt;
The Silver Valley Community Resource Center is a 30 year old non-profit organization established in the epicenter of the Bunker Hill Superfund site, North Idaho. The site was listed as the 2nd largest EPA NPL site in 1983 due to a century of lead and heavy metal contamination. The site was originally 21 sq. miles it is now 1500 sq. miles. Of primary concern is the ongoing lead exposure in the air, soil, water and homes within the 4 towns of the original site.
It only takes an amount of lead the size of a grain of sand to harm a child for life. Careful research confirms that there are now 6 generations of families living with chronic lead health conditions.
The only proactive intervention going on is a successful Children Run Better Unleaded project conducted by the SVCRC. For 3 decades the SVCRC, grassroots efforts of education and outreach have worked in good faith with EPA to provide many resources for them to receive millions and millions of dollars to do their mission, to protect the environment and human health. These good faith actions are not working.
Now that you have assumed the responsibility of protecting the public from harmful environmental exposures, we wish to ask that you act to eliminate the toxic threat over our lives. We have been living a legacy of contamination for too long. Our lives, our children’s lives are valuable. We have the right to not be poisoned. Please check contact our office to find out how to implement the law which mandates that contaminated sites be cleaned up and afford us the relief from our servitude to this error. Our children deserve to be free from this unnecessary imposition of disease. Please extend your hand to help us in this forgotten corner of our great land!
Paul Flory, lead poisoned child/adult
Donna O’Neill, mother, grandmother of lead poisoned children, a happy participant of the SVCRC, Children Run Better Unleaded project.
Barbara Miller/SVCRC Director

The Coalition also sent the following to Secretary Ben Carson of HUD:

Dear Mr. Ben Carson, Housing and Urban Development Administrator;

The Silver Valley Community Resource Center is a 30 year old non-profit organization established in the nation’s largest lead Superfund site whose 21 sq. mile epicenter is located in North Idaho. Childhood led exposure is a completely preventable disease. With your background it is certain you understand the damaging neurological impacts of what even the smallest amount of lead can do to a child. There are six generations of families living with chronic lead poisoned health conditions in our community.

It is still with fear and repercussions that the word lead is even mentioned. Nevertheless, with the dedication of the SVCRC we as affected citizens our families and children continue to speak out! This is how the successful Children Run Better Unleaded project, the only proactive lead prevention intervention going on in what is now a 2 state 1500 sq. mille lead site came to be.

One of the key preventative steps in the CRBU program is identification of the lead source, this is an economically poor company town community, all with few exceptions of homes were built prior to the 1970’s. An interior house dust study shows homes have 2-50x’s more lead in them than yards which are capped and being dug up with contamination being distributed to the air, water, homes, schools of the area. NOTHING has been done even with EPA, having a legally binding Record of Decision mandating lead interiors be remediated. When we bring the issue to EPA, Reg. Ten’s attention, staff acknowledge this serious concern and snicker.

Community surveys support the funding of a Community Lead Health clinic/center which would provide basic testing and elimination of lead exposures to our children who are our future. EPA has $750,000,000 in settlement funds which SVCRC has entered into good faith discussion to acquire.

We ask for your input and support to Getting the lead out in the nations largest lead site. Help us to help others in other communities with positive intervention such as the CRBU outreach. Elimination of home lead exposure has never been conducted at the nations largest lead site.