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Teck ruled liable for Wash. river pollution

Keywords: Tags  Teck Metals, Teck Resources, Teck American, Environmental Protection Agency, Upper Columbia River, Samuel Frizell

NEW YORK — Teck Metals Ltd., a subsidiary of Teck Resources Ltd., is liable for alleged environmental damage caused to Washington state’s Upper Columbia River, a U.S. District Court in eastern Washington ruled Friday.

Teck acknowledged in September that it was responsible for discharging "some portion" of the arsenic, lead, mercury and zinc slag that entered the Columbia River from 1896 until 1995 (, Sept. 10). But it stated Friday that water in the river system has so far met U.S. and Canadian water quality standards.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in April said that parts of the Upper Columbia River had high levels of lead and arsenic that could pose a risk to human health.

The EPA and Vancouver-based Teck Resources subsidiary Teck American Inc. haven’t yet determined the amount due for natural resource damages and costs.

Teck American Inc. has commissioned its own study in natural resource damage assessment, and the company expects the damage costs to be immaterial.

The company’s investigation and feasibility study is being conducted under a 2006 agreement with the EPA and is slated for completion in 2015.

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