Regarding the June 19 article, “B.C. Border States Urge Action on Transboundary Coal Pollution,” I wanted to provide important facts that were unfortunately missing from the article regarding the significant work underway to solve these water quality challenges, and correct some misleading information included in your story.
The fact is, Teck has been working in cooperation with stakeholders in both Canada and the U.S for years to address these challenges. That work led to development of the Elk Valley Water Quality Plan – the most comprehensive water management program of its kind ever developed in the world. Teck is now investing hundreds of millions of dollars to implement this plan, which includes an ambitious program of research, monitoring, and water treatment.
And that work is delivering results. Our first water treatment facility is now operating and generating real improvements in downstream water quality. The second and third water treatment facilities are both in various stages of construction and development, and will deliver even greater water quality benefits once complete and operational.
In addition, we are carrying out extensive aquatic monitoring and studies. It is important to note this monitoring indicates that current levels of selenium and other substances related to mining are not impacting populations of fish in the manners indicated in your article. The article also fails to include that there is an extensive cross-border monitoring effort underway that includes participation by the B.C. government and U.S. agencies, including the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
We know that solving the water quality challenge in the Elk Valley will require hard work. It is a complex, long-term issue, but we are making progress. Teck is committed to continuing to put in the work and resources needed to meet this challenge, and continuing to work in cooperation with stakeholders on both sides of the border to ensure the watershed is protected.
For more information on how we are working to improve water quality, visit www.teck.com/elkvalley.
Marcia Smith, senior vice president
Sustainability and External Affairs