To the Editor,
Regarding the June 17 article ‘Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over pollution from Elk Valley mines’ 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. 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, including a cross-border monitoring effort 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. And contrary to the statements in the article, as part of that work Teck has responded to all requests for information and provided monitoring data to appropriate government agencies, and will continue to do so as we work cooperatively to tackle this important issue.
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.
Senior Vice President, Sustainability and External Affairs