Beautiful Payette Lake, Idaho is high in Mercury. Careful eating those fish!

A cement plant in a sparsely inhabited part of Oregon produces massive amounts of neurotoxic mercury. Idaho’s Simpson wants to give them a free pass to pollute Idaho-

Mercury is not an unavoidable contaminant of cement. However, the deposit near Durkee, Oregon contains a very high level. Durkee, Oregon itself is a bit of nothing about 25 miles west of the Idaho border.

Isn’t it great, Idaho Representative Mike Simpson reaches out to Oregon, at least to their polluters? Representing Idaho’s fishing and beautiful environment would be cool thing to do too, but that doesn’t seem to be his way.

Payette Lake Fish High in Mercury. Sisyphus’s blog in 43rd State Blues.

Ash Grove Cement at Durkee, Oregon. August 2010. It doesn't look like much, but it is an amazingly concentrated source of mercury pollution — the second largest open air source of mercury pollution in the entire country! Copyright Ralph Maughan
Payette Lake in western Idaho near McCall. Copyright Ralph Maughan



Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan