Readers of the August 5 article ‘Colville Tribes continue legal fight for Columbia River cleanup’ may be left with the incorrect impression that Teck Metals Ltd, owner of the Trail metallurgical facility, is resisting efforts to address historic discharges from the Trail smelter. This is not the case.
In fact, Teck and its affiliates have invested over $75 million to date, under EPA oversight, towards a study to identify potential risks to human health or the environment in the Upper Columbia River area associated with historic operations at our Trail Facility. Results to date are encouraging, showing beaches in the reservoir are safe for recreation, water quality is better than standards in both the U.S. and Canada, and fish are as safe as or safer to eat than those from any other water body in the state of Washington. We are fully committed to completing these studies to determine if there are unacceptable risks to people or the environment from exposure to contaminants associated with the historical operations at our Trail facility.
In addition to this work, Teck has invested more than $1.5 billion at Trail Operations to modernize the facility to improve its operational and environmental performance. As a result of these investments, there has been a 95% decrease in emissions of metals to air and water since the mid-1990s.
Employees of Teck Trail Operations live, work and raise their families in this region. They care about the environment and are committed to working to ensure the health of the Columbia River and area is protected for today and for generations to come.
Senior Vice President, Sustainability and External Affairs