Teck will fight a U.S. judgment ordering the company to pay $8.25 million to the Colville tribes.
Teck’s stance follows a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to deny hearing the company’s appeal to a lawsuit filed by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.
“We are disappointed by the decision,” Teck spokesperson Chris Stannell told theTrail Times.
“And will continue to vigorously defend the litigation, which is expected to continue for several more years.”
The case dates back to 2016 when an American district court judge found in favour of the Colville tribes that Teck cover the group’s bill stemming from litigation regarding historic pollution and costs related to investigative studies of the Columbia River.
That ruling was upheld in the U.S. Court of Appeals in September 2018.
“While we believe that the application of U.S. environmental laws to industrial facilities in Canada is wrong in principle,” Stannell continued.
“We have consistently said that if there are real risks to human health or the environment associated with historic emissions from Trail Operations, either in Canada or in the U.S., Teck will take appropriate steps to address them.”
Teck has spent over US$90 million, to date, on studies of the Upper Columbia River in the United States, he said.
“And the results, to date, indicate that the water is clean, the fish are as safe to eat as fish in other waterbodies in Washington State, and the beaches are safe for recreation, other than those affected by contamination not associated with Teck.”