Archive for the ‘ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES’ Category

Northport Crohn’s & Colitis Study Underway

Northport 2016 BWH/Harvard

Crohn’s & Colitis Study Underway

~ Still Recruiting Participants ~

 

Dr. Josh Korzenik, The Director of the Crohn’s and Colitis Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), one of the leading IBD researchers in the country, and his team have begun their second study of the health cluster of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease diagnosed in Northport residents.  Their 2011 study concluded diagnosed cases of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease in the community was 10 to 15 times higher than national standards. This was one of the largest health clusters of these illnesses Dr. Korzenik  has ever seen.

The current study is a more in-depth epidemiological case-control study.  The focus is in finding a possible correlation of chronic exposure to specific heavy metals and ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

The case-control study includes participants who have been diagnosed with either Crohn’s or colitis as well as participants who have not been affected.  In March I asked for volunteers for this new study. The response I received was overwhelming. I provided the full list to Dr. Korzenick, however if you volunteered and have still not heard from them please call or e-mail them at:  IBDresearch@bwh.harvard.edu  or  617-732-9173.

It is not too late to volunteer if you haven’t.  They are still recruiting participants.

The scope of this study, and the study itself, has the very likely possibility of providing groundbreaking information the scientific community is greatly lacking.

Thank you to the many past and present Northport residents who have volunteered to participate in this study.

We cannot change the past or the damage Teck’s pollution has caused, and continues to cause, to countless Northport residents. However, by participating in studies like this invaluable information on the routes and duration of exposure to specific environmental toxins have in triggering or causing these rare diseases.  This could help accomplish prevention, regulatory changes, and better treatment options and cures for Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and possibly many other autoimmune diseases.

–  Jamie Paparich

Northport Residents – Meeting with multi-media project “Their Mines, Our Stories” – May 28th

Their Mines, Our Stories, is a multi-media project started by two professors from the Evergreen State College. Anne Fischel (Media and Community Studies) and Lin Nelson (Environmental Health and Community Studies) began this project by documenting the experiences of individuals in communities who worked at, and/or lived close to, one of the ASARCO smelters. ASARCO is the largest polluter in the United States and is responsible for 20 Superfund sites.

Their project grew to involve research, film, photography, oral history, analytical writing, a website and a documentary sharing the experiences and struggles of people in Ruston/Tacoma, WA; Hayden, AZ, and El Paso, TX. The project focuses on the complexity of the relationship between communities who relied on ASARCO for employment, while later discovering the smelter was poisoning them at work with unsafe working conditions, and impacting their families health and safety from their massive, unregulated pollution. All this and then fighting with the EPA and other government agencies to help protect them.

Anne and Lin, as well as Carlos Martinez, a representative of the Smeltertown community in El Paso, will be visiting Northport Saturday, May 28th. There will be an informal meeting with the group at Northport High School, Saturday, May 28th at 2:00 p.m.. We will discuss our similar experiences, share ideas and strategies on how small communities impacted by big polluters can come together and create a larger information network and make positive changes, as well as “impact and strengthen the policy frameworks that shape environmental…health.”

We will also be screening their documentary; “Under the Smoke Stack.”

Anne would also like to film interviews with any Northport residents interested in sharing their stories.  She will provide me with the edited filming she completes to share on our website and attract the attention of documentary makers.  If you would like to share your story on video we will be filming those Sunday, May 29th.

If you are interested in attending the meeting and/or being interviewed on film please e-mail me a short note letting me know so I can have an accurate head count.
E-mail: Northportproject@hotmail.com

“Their Mines, Our Stories” – Northport Meeting
Date:          Saturday, May 28th
Time:          2:00 p.m.
Location:   Northport High School

Filming interviews with residents
Date:          Sunday, May 29th
Time:         TBA
Location:   Paparich Farm (4598 Mitchell Road)

2016 residential soil sampling meeting Feb. 24th, 6:30pm- Northport Cafeteria

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www.lrf.org | info@lrf.org February 12, 2016

Northport open house to focus on 2016 free residential soil sampling opportunities

 

February 24th, 6:30 p.m., Northport School Cafeteria. Click here for flyer with details.

The Forum is hosting an open house for Upper Columbia Valley property owners to learn about eligibility and the opportunity for free soil sampling in 2016. Click here for map showing areas where soil sampling is being made available.

Representatives from EPA, Teck, WA Department of Ecology and Northeast Tri County Health District will be on hand to answer questions. The open house is timely because eligible property owners are being asked to sign-up for sampling by March 1, 2016.

Said the Forum’s Executive Director, Andy Dunau, “The Forum wants to help make sure residents have every opportunity to get their questions answered. Making the best decision for you, your family and your property should be based on receiving the best information available.”

 

Teck and EPA reach agreement to clean-up Northport properties

Teck Smelter agrees to clean up 15 lead-contaminated properties in Northport, WA

(Seattle, WA – Aug, 13, 2015)

 

Teck Metals Limited and Teck American Incorporated have reached a legally binding cleanup agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to begin removing lead and other contaminants from 15 properties in northeast Washington state.

Under the terms of the agreement, Teck will excavate and replace soil on 14 residential properties and one tribal allotment with EPA oversight. The cleanup action will address contamination in the most frequented areas of these properties to reduce the possibility of exposure to toxic substances. The cleanup action is expected to begin this month and end by October, 2015. Three other Colville tribal allotments that qualify for cleanup will be addressed by Teck at a later date.

The cleanups were triggered by two studies, first by the Washington Department of Ecology in 2012 and a second performed by EPA in 2014. The 2012 Ecology study found elevated levels of lead, arsenic and cadmium in soils within two miles of the U.S./Canada border. In 2014, EPA conducted soil sampling at 74 properties in the Northport area, finding very high lead levels at 17 properties and offered to remove the contaminated soil and replace it with clean soil. Under this agreement, Teck will perform those cleanups.

EPA conducted additional sampling in May 2015 which more clearly defined the extent of lead and arsenic-contaminated soil. The work is part of a larger investigative effort that has continued for over a decade near the Columbia River in northeast Washington to assess the environmental and health consequences of pollution at the Upper Columbia River Site.

Lead is known to be harmful to people when ingested or inhaled, particularly to children under the age of six. Lead poisoning can cause a number of adverse human health effects, but is particularly detrimental to the neurological development of children.

For hundreds of years, lead has been mined, smelted, refined, and used in products (e.g., as an additive in paint, gasoline, leaded pipes, solder, crystal, and ceramics). Mining, smelting, and refining activities have resulted in substantial increases in lead levels in the environment, especially near mining and smelting sites.
EPA will continue to assess human health risks and potential cleanup actions for soils at the Upper Columbia River Site not addressed as part of this action.

EPA to hold community meeting August 20th

Come talk to us about metals in soil and proposed actions Share your concerns and questions

In response to your requests for a meeting, EPA, Ecology, and the Northeast Tri-County Health District invite you to share your concerns and questions.

EPA and the Washington Department of Ecology will discuss Ecology’s recent reports on elevated levels of metals in soil and answer questions.

Residential soil testing

Based on recent soil testing, Ecology is asking EPA to accelerate planned residential soil sampling. EPA would like to hear from the community to better prepare a sampling plan. Local knowledge can inform EPA’s decision about where and how to sample the soil in residential areas in the Columbia River Valley close to the U.S.-Canadian border.

Please join us

… at the Northport Community Connections Center on Tuesday evening, August 20, at 6:30 pm.

Representatives from EPA and Ecology will be available to talk about Ecology’s recent study, EPA’s plans, and discuss your concerns and answer your questions.

Where: Northport Community Connections Center, 405 Center Ave.,

Northport, WA 99157

When: Tuesday, August 20, at 6:30 pm

For questions please contact:

Kay Morrison, Community Involvement Coordinator, US Environmental Protection Agency

206-553-8321, or toll free at 1-800-424-4372

Carol Bergin, Public Involvement Specialist, WA Department of Ecology – 509-329-3546

WA Dpt. of Ecology’s Northport soil study confirms fears

Link to study results below:

Soil, Lake, and Wetland Studies around Northport

Teck admits polluting, but still planning an escape route….

Teck admits polluting Columbia River in U.S.

 

But company doesn’t concede dumped waste caused harm

 
By Gordon Hoekstra, Vancouver Sun; With files from Canadian PressSeptember 11, 2012
 
 

Teck Resources has admitted that mining waste and effluent from its Trail smelter polluted the Columbia River across the U.S.-Canada border in Washington State for 100 years.

Its subsidiary, Teck Metals Ltd., agreed to these facts as part of a civil lawsuit with U.S. plaintiffs, which include American first nations and the State of Washington, over damages from the pollution that was discharged from 1896 to 1995.

The Teck Metals agreement released Monday acknowledges some portion of the effluent and slag from its Trail operations in southeastern B.C. were transported and present in the Upper Columbia River in the U.S., and that some hazardous substances were released into the environment in the U.S.

The company said this is expected to allow the court to find that Teck is potentially liable for damages.

However, Teck says the statement of facts doesn’t concede the pollution caused any harm.

“We haven’t agreed to the amount of injury that’s potentially the result of that (pollution release) – certainly not the risk to human health and the environment,” said Dave Godlewski, vice-president of environment and public affairs for U.S. subsidiary Teck American.

That’s being determined by ongoing studies that could be complete by 2015. Teck reached an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2006 to fund $20 million in environmental impact studies.

Results of a 2001 preliminary EPA study showed that contamination was present in sediment above the Grand Coulee Dam.

The initial studies were sparked by complaints in 1999 from the Colville Confederated Tribes in the U.S.

The tribes later launched the civil lawsuit, claiming 145,000 tonnes has been dumped directly into the river. The State of Washing-ton joined in 2004.

A state official called the Teck admission it had polluted the Columbia River on the U.S. side significant.

“They are saying they agree now after many years of denying that,” said Jani Gilbert, a spokeswoman for the Washington State Department of Ecology.

The admission also simplifies and shortens the first phase of the trial, she said.

However, Gilbert noted Teck will try to argue in a hearing scheduled for Oct. 10 in U.S. District Court in eastern Washington that the U.S. does not have jurisdiction over Teck’s Trail operation because it’s in Canada. In an earlier decision, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a decision by a lower court the case could go for-ward even though Teck’s operation was in Canada.

Teck tried to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the high court declined to hear it.

Austen Parrish, a professor at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles who has followed the case, said the vast majority of the main issues in the case still remain. “Teck has a number of defences to liability, including its jurisdictional issues,” Parrish noted.

The completion of the remedial studies will dictate what cleanup might be required, he said.

Costs of a cleanup on the Columbia River have been estimated as high as $1 billion, but Teck said based on its own studies it estimates the “compensable value of any damage will not be material.”

The pollution discharge – which included zinc, copper, lead and traces of elements such as arsenic – ended in 1995 after Teck upgraded the Trail operation.

Godlewski says studies show that Columbia River water is safe to swim in, fish can be eaten and beaches are safe to play on.

“The river’s water is as clean as can be. We meet every single water quality standard in existence,” he said.

More studies will examine the effects on bugs that live in or on the sediment, and on nearby soils.

Teck Resources’ admission that it polluted the Columbia River had little effect on the company’s share price. Its shares on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges dropped about one per cent on Mon-day, giving the company a market capitalization of about $17 billion.

ghoekstra@vancouversun.com

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
 
 
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