Selenium: Teck’s $1.4M fine is just the beginning

(CONTIBUTOR — WILDSIGHT) – On Oct. 5, Teck pleaded guilty and was fined $1.4M under the Fisheries Act for releasing pollution from their Line Creek water treatment facility in 2014. – Featured photo by Garth Lenz / ILCP

The three releases of contaminated water killed at least 74 bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout.

The plant failure in 2014 is now years in the past, but the selenium pollution problem that the water treatment plant is supposed to solve is still getting worse. Selenium-leaching waste rock is still piling up every day. The treatment technology, which was planned to be used for treatment plants up and down the valley, still isn’t actually reducing the total selenium toxicity for fish, amphibians and other aquatic life—and there is no long-term solution for the centuries of selenium-laden water expected to flow into our rivers.