Saturday, June 03, 2006

Goes Both Ways.

Canadians will occasionally bitch about pollution coming fromthe States. Well there may be a message certain people on both sides of the border here.

In a landmark cross-border pollution case, a Canadian mining company agreed yesterday to pay millions of dollars to assess whether pollution it dumped into the Columbia River damaged wildlife and public health in Washington state.

The study could ultimately lead to a broader cleanup plan, though the company has not committed to pay for such an effort.

Yesterday's settlement between Teck Cominco Ltd. and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency marks the first time a foreign company has voluntarily agreed to compensate for contamination it has created in the United States. Teck Cominco spent nearly a century dumping slag from its British Columbia zinc smelter, which then traveled downstream and settled in Lake Roosevelt, created by Washington's Grand Coulee Dam.

"With this historic agreement, we have moved from opposite sides of the table to sit down together as environmental problem solvers," Michael Bogert, EPA's regional administrator for the Northwest, said in a telephone conference call. "By delivering results through cooperation over confrontation, the Bush administration is avoiding years of inefficient litigation."

Full article here.

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