Comments Worthy of Being A Post! **Clifford Ward** – “The Smelter’s Impact”

A comment posted for the blog page I wrote, “The Smelter’s Impact”, was so informative and really…. just excellent.   

I think it warrants being its own post – 

The comment below is from Clifford Ward, a Northport resident.  His is also a board member of the Citizens for a Clean Columbia (CCC), and is one of the first people who actually took the time and was kind enough to help me make sense of all of this.


For the countless hours….years…. decades….of your hard work advocating for our environment and for the Northport residents, (while still remaining upbeat & positive!)-   THANK YOU CLIFFORD!! 

Also, thank you for your comment, now post J, regarding Teck Smelter’s toxic discharges.


The data he provides below is staggering…… 


Posted by Clifford B. Ward on November 13, 2010   –    Comment to “The Smelter’s Impact” – Northport Washington Blog

“I just wanted to add a few things…I and my family live 1 mile south of the border, 1 mile from the River and we can still see, smell, and taste the smelter smoke. It is visible from our ranch and we experience it between 20-50 times each year, especially during inversions during the late summer/early fall. We have many photographs documenting this.
The slag and the smoke are not the only pollution/contaminants. Teck has had and still has permits from Environment Canada to discharge known toxins into the River daily. They also continue to have “spills” of heavy metals and other toxins into the River on a semi regular basis. For many many decades they have discharged liquid effluent containing heavy metals, chemicals, and other toxins directly into the River. The Confederated Colville Tribes had a series of expert reports prepared recently that document Teck’s minimum smelter discharges. I will share those here:

  • Between 1921-1997, slag was released that contained: 511,870 tons of zinc, 45,735 tons of lead, and 2,838 tons of arsenic.
  •  Between 1921-2005, liquid effluent contained: 284,222 tons of zinc, 22,298 tons of lead, 677 tons of arsenic, 972 tons of cadmium, and 227 tons of mercury.
  • Between 1921-2205, air emissions contained: 39,868 tons of zinc, 22,215 tons of lead, 1,492 tons of arsenic, 511 tons of cadmium, and 234 tons of mercury.
  • Perhaps most concerning is the unaccounted for metals (difference between the tonnage of feed inputs and the tonnage of (products+outputs+emissions). This includes: 931,833 tons of zinc, 819,177 tons of lead, 11,877 tons of arsenic, 2,749 tons of cadmium, and 89 tons of mercury.

All of this has been “discharged” into our beloved Columbia River.

–      Clifford Ward

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