On Feb. 16th, 2018 Trail Times reported Teck Resources is appealing the 2016 $8.25 million U.S. court ruling by District Court Judge Lonny Suko. This ruling found in favor of The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (CCT). Of the $82.5 million awarded, $4.9 million is allocated to the CCT’s decades of litigation costs and $3.4 million is allocated for the expenses related to their investigative studies of the water.
Teck believes they should not be responsible for paying the $8.25 million the CCT had no choice but to spend to eventually force Teck into taking responsibility for the damages their century of gross negligence caused. Teck claims that since beginning their remedial investigation study of our area in 2006 (ish) they have spent $85 million also stating; “To date, these studies are showing in general that the water in the Columbia River is clean, fish are as safe to eat as fish from other water bodies in Washington State, and beaches are safe for recreational activities.”
I am going to try to remain calm here. No need to lose my shit over this. I will simply dispute Teck’s quote above with ACTUAL FACTS, being the ACTUAL results of their studies. Keep in mind I am only addressing SOME of their studies conducted, but rest assured all the results of the other studies were very similar to those listed below.
To date, Teck’s studies (partial list below) have concluded the following;
- 2005 Sediment Toxicity Tests – Concluded; “Contaminants in the UCR….surface sediment (are) at concentrations that pose unacceptable risk to benthic/epibenthic resources” and “…elevated concentrations of metals in most of the UCR sediment samples”
- 1993 – 2009 Air Monitoring of Northport – Concluded; “…particulate matter less than 10-μm in size (PM10) concentrations of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), and lead (Pb) significantly exceeded health impact screening concentrations”.
- 2008 & 2009 White Sturgeon Acute Water Toxicity Study – Concluded; Acute exposures of cadmium, copper and zinc to ELS of white sturgeon resulted in acute toxicity due to levels of these heavy metals being “….substantially greater than the acute water quality criteria for these metals in the state of Washington.”
- 2012 Human Health Evaluation of Contaminants in UCR Fish – Concluded; …heavy metal toxins of concern are higher to those seen in other fished waterbodies across the northeast region.
- 2015 Northport Residential Soil Study Summary – Concluded; …dangerous levels of specific heavy metal toxins (lead, arsenic and/or cadmium) found on properties of 15 Northport residents prompted Teck to complete expedited clean-ups of these properties.
- 2016 Additional Northport/UCR Residential Soil Study Summary – Concluded; …dangerous levels of specific heavy metal toxins (arsenic, lead and/or cadmium) found on properties of 13 Northport/UCR residents prompted Teck to complete expedited clean-up of these properties.
Also worth mentioning;
- 2017 Department of Ecology’s Preliminary Review and Evaluation of Available Air Quality Monitoring Data and Consideration of Potential Present-Day Health Risks: Upper Columbia River Valley, near Northport, Washington – Concluded; Teck’s air monitors assessing potential air quality conditions near Northport between 2009 and 2014 indicates recent average PM10 As and Cd concentrations that exceed State of Washington ASILs (Safety Standards), Just as they did in Ecology’s 1992 – 1996 four air monitoring studies. Read the 2017 Ecology Memo to EPA Recommending Need for Additional Air Monitoring in Northport
I am going to try to not to even get into depth about the fact that time after time, community meeting after community meeting, press release after press release Teck has claimed to accept responsibility for the damages their century of pollution has caused and would be paying for all the studies, testing and clean ups deemed necessary. Yet, they continue to appeal every court finding they do not win.
If you want to truly be amazed read this 2017 article on how they managed to avoid responsibility for the well documented damages caused by the heavy metal toxic air particulates, found way above safety standards, their smoke stacks have released into Northport and the Upper Columbia River valley since the early 1920’s.
To read all of the studies Teck has completed of the Upper Columbia River site please go to: https://www.ucr-rifs.com/home/documents-plans/.
“For the better part of 20 years now, Teck has continued to fight liability and associated obligations at all levels for the century’s worth of industrial wastes Trail historically discharged directly to the Columbia River or from smoke stacks at the smelter complex. The litigation and multiple appeals continue in federal court.”