EUREKA — On the heels of a new report pointing to serious contamination problems in Lake Koocanusa, the Kootenai River Network (KRN) is giving people a chance to learn more about the lake's water quality problems.
Earlier this fall, the US Environmental Protection Agency confirmed what conservationists and scientists had claimed for years, that British Columbia's Elk River coal mines are sending selenium down the Kootenai, where it's settling in the reservoir.
Selenium is a naturally occurring and okay in small amounts. But the nonmetal, found in metal sulfide oars, can create health hazards similar to arsenic in high concentrations.
KRN will give people two opportunities to learn more about the problems in Koocanusa this month, including a presentation from Montana Department of Environmental Quality on development of a way to measure selenium in the lake.
There will also be a panel discussion. KRN says they anticipate involvement in the panel discussion from the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho.
The two presentations will take place in Libby at the Kirby Maki Theater at 724 Louisiana Avenue. on Nov. 12 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. and then in the Eureka High School auditorium on Nov. 13, also from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.