A large, now closed-down smelter for lead and zinc mining operations in the Coeur d'Alene region, called Bunker Hill, which is now one of the nation's largest Superfund toxic clean-up sites. Two large stacks at the smelter, one 715-feet high, were demolished in 1996, and the rest of the operation, which employed 2,100 people once, closed in the early 1980's. The company that owned most of the smelter, Gulf Resources, went bankrupt, largely due to suits for negligence that allowed excessive emissions from the smelter's stacks to further contaminate the area. Lake Couer d'Alene, downstream from the smelter, received much of the runoff from the operation, and has a toxic sediment 18-inches thick. The smelter site is being cleaned up, and over 200 buildings have been removed since 1995.
Boyer Smelter Site