I am writing in response to the Oct. 26 article “Senator Pushes to Protect Health of Lake Koocanusa,” in order to provide your readers with a more complete picture of the work underway on both sides of the border to safeguard our shared environment.
The fact is extensive work is being undertaken in cooperation between government agencies, First Nations, scientists, academics and industry, to carry out studies and to take action to ensure that the aquatic health of Lake Koocanusa and the Elk River watershed is protected.
A key part of that effort is the Lake Koocanusa Research and Monitoring Working Group, which brings together public and private stakeholders to provide ongoing oversight of environmental work related to water quality and aquatic health. The working group includes representatives from the state of Montana, Teck, federal agencies such as Environment Canada and the EPA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, United States Geological Survey and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and Ktunaxa Nation, among others.
Teck is also implementing the Elk Valley Water Quality Plan, a comprehensive approach to safeguarding the health of the watershed, developed in cooperation with governments in Canada and the U.S. as well as First Nations, U.S. Tribes, and scientific experts. Under the plan, we are constructing water treatment facilities at our steelmaking coal mines in B.C., the first of which became fully operational earlier this year. That facility is now successfully reducing concentrations of substances such as selenium and nitrate in the watershed, and helping improve water quality downstream.
Teck is committed to continuing to work cooperatively with stakeholders in the U.S. and Canada to ensure the health of the watershed is maintained for generations to come.
Marcia Smith, senior vice president,
Sustainability and External Affairs
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