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September 19, 2012 at 4:15 PM

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Canadian smelter's legal case over Columbia River pollution

Teck committed to health and safety

The past is critically important but Lance Dickie’s recent column looks backward without addressing the present or the future of the Upper Columbia River. [“Smelter refines its legal case,” Opinion, Sept. 14.]

Today the water in the Upper Columbia and Lake Roosevelt meets all drinking-water standards and is of comparable or better quality than water in other lakes and rivers in the state. The state Department of Health has declared that fish from the Upper Columbia are similar to, and in some cases healthier than, fish from other bodies of water in the state.

Teck has invested $55 million in ongoing studies of the Upper Columbia, remediated Black Sand Beach and spent over $1.5 billion modernizing and improving Trail Operation’s environmental performance since the late 1970s. Given the positive results of our studies to date, we are highly incented to bring them to a conclusion.

While Teck has a duty to our shareholders to protect our legal interests, and will continue to do that through appropriate proceedings, this does not detract from our commitment to continue working collaboratively with regulators and other stakeholders to ensure the health and safety of the public and the environment of the Upper Columbia.

— Dave W. Godlewski, vice president, Environment & Public Affairs, Teck American Incorporated

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