BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Five federal and state agencies, an Indian tribe and Monsanto Co. have agreed to develop comprehensive cleanup plans for three defunct southeastern Idaho phosphate mines.
The pact, announced Tuesday by the Environmental Protection Agency, requires the St. Louis-based company to investigate pollution at its Ballard, Henry and Enoch Valley mines.
Mines in Idaho's rich phosphate belt have been under scrutiny after livestock were poisoned by selenium starting in the 1990s.
Though no horses, sheep or cattle died at the Monsanto sites, EPA officials say this agreement will provide a clearer picture of health risks posed to the area's people, livestock and wildlife.
Lori Cohen, who heads EPA's Superfund Cleanup office in Seattle, says her agency will use data collected under this new agreement to develop longterm plans to remedy any lingering problems.