This is what happens when you build a fertilizer mine on the bank of a stream.
Cory Hatch of the News&Guide has been pressing executives from agribusiness giant Simplot as they have given tortured denials, first of the photo’s existence and then the impacts of polluting two creeks that flow into the Salt River and ultimately the Snake at Palisades Reservoir.
Remarkably, the photo is from a report Simplot commissioned in which it argues it should be allowed to release higher levels of selenium from its Smoky Canyon Mine on national forest lands west of Afton into Sage and Crow creeks.
On Jan. 30, the company submitted a request to reduce water quality standards to the state of Idaho, whose governor, Butch Otter, worked for Simplot for 30 years. Fortunately, Marv Hoyt of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition has been keeping a close eye on the situation and sharing his findings with Hatch.
Think of this fish the next time you bite into McDonald’s french fries.