Archive for the ‘Northport Project’ Category

Trail, B.C. Smelter Decision May Have Ripple Effect Beyond Teck

TRAIL, B.C. – On a beach in northeast Washington state near the Canadian border, Patti Bailey grabs a handful of what looks like sand and rolls the dark grains through her hands.

It’s slag, the grainy waste from the Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B) lead and zinc smelter in Trail, B.C., about 10 kilometres north of the nearby Canadian border.

“They’re little time bombs and they’re releasing zinc, copper, arsenic and other metals into the environment,” said Bailey, an environmental planner for the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

A Washington state judge has ruled that Teck is liable for the costs of cleaning up contamination in the Columbia River south of the border from decades of dumping slag and effluent from the company’s Trail operations.

In a decision announced late last week, Judge Lonny Suko ruled that, “for decades Teck’s leadership knew its slag and effluent flowed from Trail downstream and are now found in Lake Roosevelt, but nonetheless Teck continued discharging wastes into the Columbia River.”

Suko noted that the company admitted treating the international waterway as a free waste disposal service.

Specifically, the judge in Yakima, Wash., found that from 1930 to 1995, Teck intentionally discharged at least 9.97 million tons of slag that included heavy metals such as lead, mercury, zinc and arsenic.

The judge also found that Teck knew the hazardous waste disposed of in the Columbia River was likely to cause harm.

The decision gives the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the ability to force Teck to pay for the cleanup, and potentially for any ongoing damages and losses that result from the ongoing contamination. That issue has yet to be determined by the court.

Some believe the landmark case could have implications for mining and other industrial interests on both sides of the border. The Canadian government, the province of British Columbia and the U.S. National Mining Association have all intervened in the case to argue that the issue should be resolved bilaterally.
As they awaited the judge’s decision, Washington state officials were optimistic.

“We’re hopeful after… how many years has it been?” joked Kristie Elliott, lawyer for the Washington state Attorney General. “After this much significant litigation we’re now finally to the substance of the case.”

Eight years after the case was launched and on the eve of a trial this fall, Teck admitted to discharging slag and liquid effluent into the river from 1896 to 1995. But it argued the U.S. law that forces companies to clean up contamination sites, known as the Superfund law, was never intended to reach across the international border.
But Elliot said complaints about the contamination from the Trail smelter surfaced as early as the 1940s, when farmers from Washington state sued Cominco, Teck’s predecessor, over air pollution from the smelter. That case was eventually resolved in arbitration by the two federal governments, and set a precedent for cross-boundary pollution law.

“Still, they continued to discharge, and they knew it was accumulating in Lake Roosevelt and that studies being done by various government agencies were finding mercury contamination down there,” Elliott said. The 209-kilometre long lake was created in 1941 after the Grand Coulee Dam was built on the Columbia River.

The company took out insurance to cover liability, but didn’t stop discharging effluent for decades, she said.

Within the fences of the largest smelting operation in North America, about a billion and a half dollars has been spent modernizing Teck’s Trail Operations over the past 25 years. A new furnace installed in 1996 cut emissions dramatically.

Last month, Teck completed a $5.8-million project to reduce the risk of a spill into the river.

The company is now installing a $1.2-million automated leak detection system, and a $125-million acid plant that will reduce sulphur dioxide emissions a further 15 to 20 per cent.
Recycled lead makes up about 20 per cent of total production and anything that can be used or recycled is, right down to granules of slag sold for processing into Portland cement.

“The employees who work here at Trail Operations live in this local area, and participate and take part in everything it has to offer,” said Richard Deane, manager of environment, health and safety at the smelter.

“It’s a great area from an outdoor quality of life perspective. Everyone here enjoys the benefits of the river — swimming, kayaking, fishing, all these types of things.”

The company has also spent tens of millions of dollars on environmental rehabilitation, from digging up contaminated gardens and bringing in replacement soil, to replanting dead trees.

Lead emissions have decreased from about 100 tonnes a year in the early 1990s to about half a tonne last year.
Teck is now taking aim at “fugitive dust” emissions, covering raw materials stored outdoors, and is building an indoor facility for all mixing processes that stir up dust.

That has not been the case south of the border, say the Colville tribes.

Years of discussions went nowhere, so they petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1999 to assess the river contamination under the U.S. Superfund law. The agency found the river was indeed contaminated, and it found Teck was responsible. That’s when the legal battle began.

Frustrated by the lack of action, two band members launched civil action eight years ago. The legal wrangling has gone all the way to that country’s highest court — the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Teck’s appeal.
The smoke-billowing smelter on the banks of the Columbia River towers over Trail like a fortified castle of old. The town has literally grown around this industrial giant, which first fired up its stacks in 1896.

“Teck is Trail and Trail is Teck,” said Mayor Dieter Bogs, a former Teck engineer-turned-politician. “I don’t know what Trail would be like without Teck, because the city and the company are really one and the same.”
Bogs admitted there are concerns about a recent study that found elevated levels of bowel disease in the Washington state community of Northport, just across the border.
In Trail, it was blood lead levels in children that sparked alarm in the 1970s. That has greatly improved, Bogs said. In children under three, levels are considered safe but remain persistently higher than the community’s health committee would like.

The Trail Health and Environment Committee released results last month of the most recent annual testing, which found an average level of 5.4 micrograms of lead per decilitre — higher than last year’s average of 5 micrograms. Eighty-four per cent of children tested below 10 micrograms, the level Health Canada considers a concern.

The committee is working on a plan to minimize exposure.

“If people work with us, as far as I’m concerned this is a very safe place to live,” said Bogs, committee chairman.
He said the U.S. court case is a concern because anything that affects the company affects the town. The price tag for the cleanup alone in Washington state has been estimated at $1 billion.

Vancouver-based Teck Resources Ltd. ended fiscal 2011 with a $4.4 billion profit.

Teck American Inc., the company’s U.S. branch, entered into an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2006 to undertake a remedial investigation and feasibility study of the Upper Columbia.

It has spent $55 million so far, and the company says it has found encouraging results in water and fish testing. The Colville tribes disagree.

Northport, the Town That Could Help Cure IBD

Northport, the Town That Could Help Cure IBD

Published September 18, 2012
Written by Jaime Weinstein

Small towns are often known for having a story or legend to call their own. This story in particular involves the quiet little town of Northport, Wash., a long-standing pollution battle with a Canadian mining company, and a potential cluster of Inflammatory Bowel Disease diagnoses. For the 295 residents who live in and around Northport, this story is one they definitely could do without.

The Cast

Canadian mining company Teck Resources Ltd. (formerly Teck Cominco) one of the biggest lead and Zinc smelters in the world has a history of pollution dating back close to a century.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis; cause of disease is currently unknown, but researchers believe that genetic and environmental factors are associated

A courageous former Northport resident, Jamie Paparich, who brings information of 50 current and past residents with IBD to the attention of Harvard researchers in 2011.

117 current and former Northport residents who participate in a health study designed by Dr. Joshua Korzenik, a Harvard researcher and director of Crohn’s and Colitis Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The 17 people in Dr. Korzenik’s initial study who came back with confirmed cases of either type of IBD

The Plot

In the early 1900s, the company now known as Teck Resources Ltd. started out as a gold mine operation along the Columbia River in Trail B.C., Canada. As the years moved on the mining operation grew to include Zinc, copper, coal and oil.

Starting in the 1930s, farmers from the towns of Northport and Marcus file suit against Teck Cominco (the company’s name at the time) on the grounds that the smelter’s air pollution is destroying crops, especially along farms located on Mitchel Road. This became a landmark case in terms of farmers and pollution.

By 1940, the mining company admits to dumping up to 1,000 tons of slag (mining waste consisting of harmful chemicals like arsenic, cadmium and lead). By the 1980s mercury spills and regular dumping are added to the list of pollutants the company’s smelter is responsible for.

A smelter is a machine that uses extreme heat and pressure to melt or fuse ore in order to separate metallic compounds. The extraction process creates extreme amounts of waste and much of this waste was pumped into the Columbia River up until the mid-1990s.

The Plot Thickens

By the early 1990s the U.S. became aware of Canada fining Teck due to inappropriate dumping procedures involving sulfuric acid, Zinc and cadmium, as well as spills of sulfuric acid, but the U.S. refrains from lobbying fines of their own. Once there was knowledge of a spill, U.S. government agencies were supposed to notify local residents right away. However, this did not occur in relation to the Teck smelter.

Several studies conducted through the 80s and 90s showed elevated levels of mercury in fish such as trout. The most dangerous levels found in fish that many residents liked to catch and consume were usually found around the time a spill had recently occurred. Upon the conclusion of later testing, mercury levels had gone down to a reasonable level in the fish. However, it was found that bottom-dwelling fish were still showing higher than reasonable amounts of mercury in their system. Residents were not notified.

When a corporate memo was issued internally by a Teck environmental manager, Richard Dalosse, it didn’t seem very positive. The memo sent to Dalosse’s supervisors included a startling quote, “If we fail to ensure accurate monitoring of this discharge, it is possible that we could be held civilly or criminally liable.” By then Canadian regulators were already urging Teck to conduct a study regarding the Columbia River and pollution.

In 1994, Teck’s Columbia River Integrated Environmental Monitoring Program concluded its river pollution study. Findings showed a substantial amount of toxins were found south of Teck’s smelter inside of the river’s sediment. The study ended at the Canadian/U.S. border, but located just south of the border are the towns of Northport, Waneta and Washington.

It’s important to note that dumping in the river, within limits, is legal on both the American and Canadian sides of the river. However it’s become increasingly clear that Teck has had quality control issues with over dumping and spills; the last took place in 2010.

One outstanding issue residents of surrounding towns have with this information is that legally they should have been notified and never were. Much of this information has been collected thanks to the curiosity and diligence of a frustrated former resident, Jamie Paparich, whose own family members and friends suffer from various forms of IBD.

Putting the Pieces of the Story Together

On August 15 the Vancouver Sun ran an interview with Jamie Paparich and her aunt, Rose Kalamarides. Paparich a former Northport resident formed the Northport Project, which now consists of an extensive series of documents including a timeline laying out varying amounts of pollution dumped, spills, and the dates they took place.

As part of the Northport Project, Paparich performed an informal survey she hoped would catch the eye of the medical community. Results came back showing what Paparich had suspected all along, a potential IBD cluster, as well as something else. Additional smaller clusters involving certain types of cancer, as well as thyroid disease and Multiple Sclerosis; both are also inflammatory disease brought on by the immune system.

Speaking about the location of the family farm she grew up on, “It’s where the river starts to slow down and creates pools and swimming holes.” Both Paparich’s father and aunt grew up on the farm, as well. “All these kids swam in it, we irrigated with it, for decades, she added.” In the 1980s the state of Washington placed air monitors on the property to track air pollution. Results showed elevated levels of arsenic and cadmium.

Why did they do it?

One possibility could be, because the family farm is located along Mitchel Road. The very same road from the landmark farming lawsuit that took place many decades ago.

Rose Kalamarides, along with another sister, related a story to reporters about how during summertime their mother’s grocery bill was never higher than $5.00. Everything they ate came from the farm. Looking back now, they acknowledge you can’t see pollution in the head of lettuce you’re eating. And when referring to the aroma that wafted 15 miles south into Northport, Kalamarides told the Spokesman-Review, “When we were kids walking to school, we could smell it in the air.”

Now at the age of 56, Kalamarides has been dealing with ulcerative colitis for close to 30 years. Along with struggling to keep weight on and having to endure numerous blood transfusions, Kalamarides has had quite the battle with ulcerative colitis from having to have her colon removed to needing an ostomy, and now requires a catheter. As for her brother Jim (Paparich’s father), he has the disease too but is faring better.

Included in the group of people who have IBD that Kalamarides personally knows are a good friend, her third grade teacher and a childhood classmate.

Growing concerned with the amount of people she knew living with IBD, Paparich took the information she gathered from her Northport Project’s informal survey and set out to get the attention of the medical community. And that’s exactly what happened. Introducing Dr. Joshua Korzenik, director of the Crohn’s and Colitis Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the man who Paparich got to pay attention to her findings.

“10 to 15 Times More IBD Than Expected to Be Seen…”
After Paparich got the attention of Dr. Korzenik, he put together a small health study, which he hopes to expand and get funding for eventually. For now, it will be a labor of love for him and his team. The study contained 119 current and former Northport residents. The results, 17 came back with having either ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.

What this means in terms of the bigger picture is that it’s a very high number – about 10 to 15 times higher than expected to be seen in a small population like Northport, said Dr. Korzenik. As for one of Dr. Korzenik’s fellow researchers, Dr. Sharyle Fowler, she said, “We should be expecting to see one or two cases for a town the size of Northport.”

There are also others in Northport with digestive tract issues, who have not officially received an IBD diagnosis at this time, like two of Clifford Ward’s children.

The End …

Through his preliminary research, Dr. Korzenik has already ruled out a genetic influence being linked to the potential Northport cluster. Yes, he believes it is a cluster. The genetic theory was discounted when results showed only a few individuals were related; like Jamie Paparich’s aunt and father.

Another thing the Harvard research team found interesting is that of the 17 people from the study confirmed to have IBD, seven of them live(d) along Mitchell Road. Yes, the very same road where Paparich’s family farm is located and area of farmland related to the landmark lawsuit.

While there is no cure for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis yet, much speculation circulates around environmental triggers since increases in diagnoses started after the industrial revolution took place. It is with this reasoning that if the IBD cluster can be confirmed, Dr. Korzenik believes Northport could hold the key to finally getting much needed answers.

What a great ending this could make — Northport, the town that helped cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Radio interview on Northport IBD study results

Tuesday August 14, 2012

Doctor confirms high rate of colitis south of Teck smelter

teck smelter.jpg

Teck’s lead and zinc smelter in Trail, B.C., upstream from Northport, Washington. (Contributed by: Teck Resources)

To residents of Northport Washington, the news might not be a surprise — but for many, it might be validation.

Northport is a community of about 300 people located on the Columbia River.

For years, residents have claimed that something is making them sick, and they point north to the Teck smelter, just 35 kilometres upstream, in Trail.

We still don’t know exactly what’s behind the illnesses.

But now we do know for sure that something strange is going on in Northport.

A new survey by researchers at Harvard Medical School shows rates of colitis and Crohn’s disease are 10 to 15 times higher than normal in Northport, and those researchers have ruled out genetics as a possible cause.

Jamie Papparich is a community activist from Northport who’s been raising the alarm for years. In fact, she lobbied the medical community to get involved and to undertake this very survey.

She spoke with Daybreak host, Chris Walker……

To hear my radio interview with Chris Walker click on the below link:

The strength of character

I used to wonder what people meant when they described someone as having “character”. After getting to know so many past and present Northport Washington residents I finally understand.

Character is not just a single attribute in a person. It is a single word used to describe many attributes that defines who that person is. Hard work, loyalty, honesty, integrity, and decency are some of the attributes I have seen in each of them, and through each of them I have learned what it means to have character.

For decades Teck and the EPA’s unfair, dishonest and self-serving treatment of this community contributed to the many health issues generations of the residents have heroically endured.

The EPA’s lies, denials and for the most part silence was just as toxic to the people as was Teck’s pollution.

Both Teck and the EPA denied them their health and safety by denying them the simple truth, which would have at least given them a fighting chance to protect themselves.

Through it all the one thing they couldn’t take from the individuals of Northport was their character.

Past and present residents could fight to finally hold Teck and the EPA accountable. Instead they have taken on the accountability themselves by participating in studies designed to discover if their illnesses were triggered or caused by their chronic exposure to specific heavy metal toxins. They participate in these studies because of the probability their involvement will result in information needed to protect future generations from enduring the health problems they deal with day in and day out.

That takes character.

– Jamie Paparich

NPR Investigation on our toxic air and the neglected communities often forgotten about

Excellent NPR series on toxic air and the neglected communities throughout the United States

With assistance from The Center for Public Integrity the NPR investigative reporters created the excellent series “Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities”

Below is a brief intro describing the series, followed by an in depth article about how the data was gathered and how NPR utilized the information for their investigation.

I highlighted a few sentences in red in the last paragraph. These pertained specifically to the situation of air monitoring done in Northport in the past.

I urge you to read more articles from the series. They are all frustrating, heartbreaking and all to familiar stories about small communities being ignored and forgotten for decades as the polluters, Congress, EPA and State and Federal Agencies have been fighting a losing battle amongst each other.

The most discouraging part for the residents of Northport and the other small communities and Tribes living along the Upper Columbia River is we are not even privy to the flawed regulations and incorrect, out of date monitoring the EPA is providing some. Teck Smelter, the proven source of pollution to the Upper Columbia River and beaches, is a Canadian company and is not monitored by the United States.

To read more on the NPR Poisoned Places series go to:

Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities

Two decades ago, Democrats and Republicans together sought to protect Americans from nearly 200 dangerous chemicals in the air they breathe. That goal remains unfulfilled. Today, hundreds of communities are still exposed to the pollutants, which can cause cancer, birth defects and other serious health issues. A secret government ‘watch list’ underscores how much government knows about the threat – and how little it has done to address it.

Poisoned Places: About The Data


The Poisoned Places series relied on analysis of four datasets relating to sources of air pollution regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: the Clean Air Act watch list, the Air Facility System (AFS), the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and the Risk Screening Environmental Indicators model (RSEI).

The Clean Air Act Watch List

The Center for Public Integrity and NPR obtained the “watch list” through a Freedom of Information Act request to the EPA. Two versions of the list were obtained: one current as of July 2011, the other as of September 2011.

While these facilities are regulated by the states and the EPA, not all facilities report to the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI); certain criteria must be met.

Further research indicated that two of these facilities are under construction, two are temporarily closed and nine are permanently closed. Additionally, not all were flagged in the data as high priority violators (HPVs) as of August 2011. The Center for Public Integrity and NPR placed watch list facilities into industry categories and used the primary four-digit Standard Industrial Code; data entry for the more current North American Industry Code System was not as consistent.

(This link provides more information about the watch list.)

The Air Facility System

AFS tracks permit, enforcement and compliance information for sources of air pollution. All major sources and some minor sources are required under the Clean Air Act to obtain operating permits that stipulate what they must do to control air pollution. The data contain information about inspections, enforcement actions, penalties and compliance, including HPV status. The HPV flag is activated when a facility has a high priority violation, as defined by criteria established in a 1998 EPA memo (PDF). It is deactivated when the violation is fully resolved. In some cases an HPV flag can remain after a violation has been resolved.

State or local agencies are required to report data to the EPA on a regular basis. However, because of some technical complications or lack of diligence, data are not always entered in a timely manner. Therefore the data do not always present a complete picture of enforcement or compliance for a particular facility. States’ comments on data inaccuracies can be found on the EPA’s website.

The Center for Public Integrity and NPR downloaded AFS data from the EPA Web site in October, and the data are current as of August 2011. To compensate for incomplete data, The Center for Public Integrity and NPR contacted multiple state and local agencies, EPA regional offices and the national office in Washington, D.C., to try to corroborate information gleaned from AFS.

The Center for Public Integrity also obtained a detailed subset of the AFS database, through the Freedom of Information Act, listing each Clean Air Act violation deemed “high-priority” by regulators. The table shows who committed the violation and details the steps regulators have taken to address it.

(Read more about AFS at this link.)

The Toxics Release Inventory

The TRI, authorized under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA), houses emissions data reported yearly by polluting facilities. Over 20,000 facilities reported emissions of over 600 chemicals in 2009, including most of the 187 hazardous air pollutants that the EPA is required to control, as defined in the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act.

Not all toxic chemicals or sources of pollution are included in the TRI, however. Smaller sources (such as dry cleaners and gas stations) and mobile sources are not required to report. Only facilities in certain industry sectors, with a minimum level of production and number of employees, must report each year (PDF).

In addition, some quantities reported are estimated rather than monitored, and facilities use different estimation methodologies that could result in slightly different amounts. It is widely acknowledged that the TRI also contains some reporting errors, and in some instances facilities underreport.

The EPA also notes that no health risk conclusions can be drawn from the TRI alone, since there is no information on toxicity or distribution of chemicals.

The Center for Public Integrity and NPR analyzed the most recent complete version of data through 2009. Only fugitive and stack (on-site) air releases were considered when analyzing emissions. Completed 2010 reports became available from the EPA 11 days before publication — after the Center for Public Integrity and NPR finished their analysis. The Center for Public Integrity and NPR plan to use the 2010 data as the series continues.

(Read more about the TRI at this link.)

The Risk Screening Environmental Indicators

RSEI was created by the EPA to assess chronic human health risks from chemical releases reported in the TRI. For each release (say, X pounds of benzene released from an oil refinery in 2007) the model takes into account the toxicity of the chemical, its fate and transport through the environment, the exposure pathway (air or water) and the number of people potentially affected. The model produces a relative risk score for each release. The latest version of the model (version 2.3.0) is based on the 2007 version of the TRI.

The screening model does not produce a measurement of actual risk, nor does it address acute (or immediate) risk from toxic air releases. It produces relative results for comparison, and its primary use is for identifying chemicals, industries or localities that require further investigation.

The model makes some necessary assumptions that should be considered when looking at its risk scores. Chemicals are assigned toxicity weights, but in some cases where chemicals are grouped together, the entire group is assigned the toxicity of its most toxic member. Also, if some facility information (such as stack height) is unavailable, the model will plug in alternate information (such as the national median stack height) .

Since the model is based on TRI reports, it is subject to the same caveats. If a facility reported incorrectly in 2007 and later amended the report, the incorrect quantity will be reflected in the RSEI score, which was calculated using the 2007 version of the TRI.

For the interactive map, The Center for Public Integrity and NPR used the latest version of RSEI to place facilities in one of five risk categories. Before doing this, several RSEI experts were consulted, both inside and outside of the EPA. To place the facilities in a risk category, The Center for Public Integrity and NPR first averaged the risk screening scores associated with the facilities over the five-year period, from 2003 to 2007 (the latest year of data available).

Because the initial analysis revealed the distribution of those averages to be skewed, The Center for Public Integrity and NPR applied a Log10 data transformation to place the data in a normal distribution. Once transformed, the data were grouped into five categories based on the transformed quantities, from lowest to highest.

(Read more about RSEI at this link.)

About This Investigation

The series “Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities” was reported by NPR’s Elizabeth Shogren, Howard Berkes and Sandra Bartlett, together with Jim Morris, Chris Hamby, Ronnie Greene, Emma Schwartz and Kristen Lombardi from the Center for Public Integrity. Data analysis for this series was by Robert Benincasa of NPR and Elizabeth Lucas of CPI. Researchers Barbara Van Woerkom of NPR and Devorah Adler of CPI also contributed to this investigation.

Additional stories have also been done in partnership with NPR member stations and the Investigative News Network

Northport Community Protection & Awareness Program – help us spread the word!

Please pass this along to those who are not aware of it. The more people who know the better chance we have at receiving enough funding and support to move forward with this program!


What is the Northport Community Protection & Awareness Program?

The main purpose of the program is to keep the residents of Northport, as well as the town itself, safe and healthy. The program was designed to do this by providing free services & programs to the community that will protect their health, and keep them informed and involved in the on going environmental and health studies.

How we plan to accomplish all of this is detailed below:

Protecting the Community

    • Provide FREE annual health screenings, physicals and heavy metal testing to all Northport residents.
    • Offer a year round Northport Community Wellness Program Designed to aid any interested residents with on-going FREE services to help them create a healthy lifestyle, or help them maintain their current one. This program would offer Northport residents free use of the following:
      • Nutritionist;
      • Naturopathic Specialists;
      • Physical Therapist; and
      • Community Fitness Center with specialty designed fitness programs
    • Psychologist and/or Psychiatrist available Monday through Friday for confidential phone appointments. Also, available four days every month for in-person appointments.

Providing Awareness & Involvement to the Community

    • Provide FREE workshops and seminars lead by physicians and toxicologists to provide preventative health information and suggestions regarding the possible health issues and the known diseases and illnesses commonly triggered or caused by chronic exposure to the heavy metal toxins Northport residents have been exposed to for decades. The knowledge provided to residents, such as being able to recognize early symptoms of illnesses, could lead to early detection and diagnosis’ of many diseases and cancers – increasing the chances of survival and/or remission.
    • Offer monthly conference calls on a variety of topics related to the research and studies done on cumulative health impacts in other communities similar to Northport.

The Impacts of the Program

The participation of the community in the above programs will also result in the community coming together with scientists and research groups to study the cumulative health impacts to residents from communities around the world who have also been, or will be, chronically exposed to the same heavy metal toxins.

This research partnership has the potential of saving thousands upon thousands of lives in the future generations throughout the world.


LEARN MORE: Visit our blog:

CONTACT US: E-mail us at:

DONATIONS: To donate click copy and paste this link:

With many thanks,

The Northport Project

EPA Awards $2 Million to Small Businesses

This is great news. I was wondering if you could share the project/research study that was awarded with the air monitoring grant?
I am curious because Northport still has been unable to get funding or approval for just the one air monitor we were promised and, until recently, thought was in place near the border, as this was where we were told a constant monitor would be operated by Teck and reviewed by Ecology due to the extremely elevated levels of arsenic and cadmium consistently detected in all four air monitoring phases done in Northport from 1992-1997. The levels of arsenic found was 200 times that of the recommended Safety levels and Cadmium was not much better. Per the agreement Ecology made with Teck (during phase 3) to approve their amended permit request to install the Kivcet smelter Teck was to monitor the air after the installation of the new smelter to ensure the toxin levels were as low as they predicted. Phase 4 was done for this purpose. The results showed that the arsenic and cadmium levels were still just as high as they were in the first three phases. Based on these results The ATSDR instructed Ecology to have Teck continue to monitor the air near the border (on the US side) and Ecology was to review Teck’s reports monthly. After phase 4 was completed the air monitor was removed and ow we find out no more air monitoring has been done in or near our area since. The closest air monitor is 35 miles away in Colville!

Is there any funding available for one air monitor in Northport? This is a major concern to the citizens of Northport since Teck’s air plumes are still visible, the same health issues are occurring, and some of the health clusters, specifically diagnosed cases of Colitis, are growing in frequency and in numbers of impacted residents, most children. Given this information along with the fact no monitoring has been done of our air since the Kivcet smelter monitoring failed to show the lowered levels of arsenic and cadmium that they guaranteed in their permit application to install the new smelter 18+ years ago. Another major concern is all the data and information I have read on the Kivcet smelter design indicates part of the reason the air odor and visibility are markedly improved is due to the extremely small size of the particulate matter. Several articles I read, one was a memo from Teck to Ecology, states the size of the particulate matter has been hypothesized to be to small to be captured by any available air monitors. Considering the smaller the particulate matter the more dangerous chronic exposure is to people and coupled with the continued health clusters diagnosed in residents living in the same two mile radius the past health clusters were discovered and the area the air monitors for all 4 air monitoring phases were set up .

Any suggestions on who could possibly help us with this would be greatly appreciated. I have been in touch with Ecology and the Wa DOH. They both informed me they have no plans to install an air monitor in Northport since they believe the four phases already conducted in our area,(17+years ago) , are sufficient enough.
They were sufficient enough to prove we were, and likely still are, in danger if we were/are chronically exposed to the toxins and particulate matter in the air we inhale and ingest as well as absorb through our skin.
The current HHRA being conducted by the EPA has no plans to do any additional monitoring of our air either, they also stated that the four air monitoring phases Ecology performed were sufficient enough to prove an individual exposed no more than 35 days out of the year does not run a likely risk of developing health issues related to their exposure to the elevated toxins of concern.

When is someone going to address the likelihood our health issues are very probably linked to the unmonitored elevated toxins of concern we were not even made aware of until decades after their monitoring detected it?
All we simply want is an air monitor, I don’t think that is to much to ask?

I look forward to any suggestions you can offer.

Jamie Paparich
The Northport Project

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