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Little calls for third-party review of lake water quality

Lake Coeur d’Alene could undergo a third-party assessment for toxins. File photo

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) — Gov. Brad Little is calling for a third-party review of Lake Coeur d’Alene water quality, as the Coeur d’Alene Tribe has expressed frustration with management plans.

The Coeur d’Alene Press reports for the past two decades, the state and tribe have worked to track toxins and compile plans showing to reduce pollutants.

Phil Cernera, who directs the tribe’s lake management department, cited inaction and a seeming unwillingness by the state to act to clean up the lake as reasons for the tribe leaving the process.

Agriculture, leaking septic systems and municipal sewer plants add phosphorus into the water.

Heavy metals on the lake bottom are from mining. The toxins become part of the water column when oxygen is low.

Little says a third-party assessment would help inform the state’s response.

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