I am writing to correct the June 20 article ‘Failure of Water Treatment Plant at B.C. Coal Mine Raises Downstream Concern’ and provide some further context for your readers on the steps Teck is taking to address water quality concerns in the region.
Contrary to what is stated in the article, the water treatment facility at our Line Creek Operations is operating and successfully achieving design specifications for reducing selenium and nitrate concentrations in treated water. We have identified and are working to address a challenge related to selenium compounds at our West Line Creek Active Water Treatment Facility. We have a dedicated team working on this issue and are now piloting a corrective option that we believe will address this issue through an addition to the existing treatment process.
In addition, we are advancing work for a second treatment facility at our Fording River Operations and additional water quality measures at other sites.
While monitoring indicates selenium and other constituents are not at levels that are affecting populations of fish and other sensitive aquatic life, we recognize that action is necessary to ensure that concentrations do not increase to levels that could affect those populations. That is why we are undertaking extensive work to ensure the continued aquatic health of Lake Koocanusa and the Elk River watershed. That work is being done in cooperation with government agencies, First Nations, scientists, academics and industry. In addition to construction of water treatment facilities at our operations, we are also undertaking extensive regional monitoring and a comprehensive research and development program to further improve how we manage water quality.
Teck is absolutely committed to continuing this work, and cooperating with stakeholders in both the U.S. and Canada to ensure the environment is protected and maintained for future generations.
Senior Vice President
Sustainability and External Affairs, Teck