What has raised questions and litigation south of the border does not have any ramifications north of the border, says Teck’s communications manager.
Richard Deane said there are no detrimental effects of the plant residing in the environment of the Silver City, nor are environmental regulations south of the border any more stringent than what exist in Canada.
“In Trail we have done extensive environmental, human health and ecosystem work to look at the potential effects of both legacy issues and current smelter operations,” he said.
“That work has been extensive. A lot of that work occurs under the guidance of the Trail Health and Environment Committee.”
The focus of that work is to assess within Greater Trail if there are any risks and issues, and then deal with the situation or put a program in place to address the discrepancy.
As well, the B.C. Ministry of Environment establishes current discharge levels for Trail Operations to protect aquatic life, and ensure water quality for drinking and recreational use, said Deane.
“And today, discharges from Trail Operations are well within these government established permit levels,” he said. “Studies consistently show the water in the Columbia River meets applicable environmental standards in both Canada and the U.S.”
In fact, Deane explained, metals in discharges from Trail Operations are much lower than naturally occurring metals loads in the Columbia River.
“While the slag historically deposited in the river has been shown to release small quantities of metals under certain conditions, it is generally inert,” he said.
The findings in 2015 and the current court proceedings will not alter the company moving forward with production right now, said Deane.
“This does not have an effect on our current operations,” he said.