EPA proposes big cuts in cleanup

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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to cut nearly in half the massive cleanup of a century's worth of mining pollution in Idaho's Silver Valley.

The agency on Wednesday released a plan that calls for cutting the cost of the Superfund cleanup from $1.3 billion to about $740 million.

The timeframe would be cut from more than 50 years to between 20 and 30 years.

The changes are partially the result of a huge outcry from Silver Valley residents and Idaho politicians, who contend the cleanup work and the Superfund label are hindering economic development in the depressed region.