Spokane River Metals Harvard Road

Facility Site ID: 615198 Cleanup Site ID: 11585

Site Background

New boat launch area added as part of cleanup.
New boat launch area added as part of cleanup.
Contaminants from historic mining practices in Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene Basin washed downstream and settled in soil and sediment along some Spokane River beaches. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted studies of the mining contaminants in the Coeur d’Alene Basin and began a wide-spread cleanup of the Bunker Hill Mining and Metallurgical Superfund Site. As part of the EPA study and studies Ecology conducted, nine beaches in Washington were cleaned up, including Harvard Road.

The Harvard Road site covers less than 1 acre and lies along the northern bank of the Spokane River. It is almost 3 miles west of the Idaho state line and immediately west of the Harvard Road Bridge. 


The mining-related contaminants include arseniccadmiumlead, and zinc.


Cleanup activities were completed in 2008:
  • Contaminated sediments along the upper portion of the Spokane River bank were removed, and the area was backfilled with clean sand and gravel. Contaminated sediments were disposed of at an approved landfill.
  • A protective cap of clean sand and gravel was placed on the lower portion of the river bank where contaminants were not removed. The cap eliminated the exposure pathway for humans and wildlife.
  • A new gravel boat launch was installed.
  • Gravel mix was placed at important fish habitat locations.
  • Signs and physical barriers, such as fences and boulders, were installed to define the launch ramp, parking, and pedestrian access areas.

Ecology completed the first periodic review in 2022. The report is for all the Spokane River shoreline sites affected by mining contaminants. The purposes of the review are to evaluate site conditions about every five years when contaminants are capped and ensure the cleanup continues to protect human health and the environment.

The cleanups continue to protect human health and the environment from the capped contaminated sediments. However, contaminant concentrations have increased in some cases, and new contaminated sediments have been deposited on the caps. This likely means upstream sources are continuing to impact the river and could pose a risk to human health and the environment if they are not controlled.

We will continue monitoring to ensure that the sites continue to be safe for human health and the environment. A monitoring study evaluating sediments entering the site at the Washington-Idaho border would help assess the potential for recontamination.

Public Information 2
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Response to Comments: Periodic Review for the Spokane River Shoreline Metals Sites 11/10/2022 Responsiveness Summary
Fact Sheet Harvard Rd Design Docs, SEPA DNS, and Substantive Requirements 4/30/2008 Fact Sheet\Public Notices
State Environmental Policy Act 1
Document Title Document Date Document Type
SEPA Checklist and DNS 4/14/2008 SEPA Documents
Technical Reports 6
Document Title Document Date Document Type
Periodic Review: Spokane River Shoreline Metals Sites 9/21/2022 Periodic Review (5 Year)
Spokane River Beach Sites 2019 Report 6/14/2019 Site Specific Technical Document - other
Spokane River Shoreline Sediment Sites Heavy Metals (As, Cd, Pb, Zn) Post-Remediation Monitoring 4/1/2015 Performance/Confirmational Monitoring Plan or Report
Spokane River Shoreline Sediment Sites Heavy Metals (As, Cd, Pb, Zn) Monitoring, Sampling and Analysis Plan 9/1/2013 Sampling and Analysis Plan
Spokane River Capping Construction Completion Report 7/31/2013 Final Cleanup Action Report
Construction Specifications and Design Drawings 4/30/2008 Construction Plans and Specifications
There may be more documents related to this site. To obtain documents not available electronically, you will need to make a public records request.

Places to see print documents

  • Eastern Regional Office
    N 4601 Monroe St
    Spokane, 99205-1265
    Please schedule an appointment to view print documents at this location.

Contaminants 1

Contaminant Type
Surface Water
Metals - Metals - Other RB
Confirmed Above Cleanup Levels
Below Cleanup Levels
This contaminant list was based on our best information at the time it was entered. It may not reflect current conditions at the site.