U.S. judge orders Teck Resources to pay aboriginal group $8.25-million – by Sunny Dhillon (Globe and Mail – August 25, 2016)


VANCOUVER — Vancouver-based Teck Resources Ltd. says it is “reviewing the implications” after a U.S. judge ruled it must pay an aboriginal group $8.25-million (U.S.) in costs.

Members of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation – which is comprised of 12 indigenous groups and located across the border in Washington State – brought a lawsuit against Teck in 2004 and alleged hazardous substances from its Trail, B.C., smelter were disposed of in the Columbia River. The group’s reservation borders that river.

Senior U.S. District Court Judge Lonny Suko in a ruling earlier this month awarded the Colville Tribes $8.25-million in costs, plus interest. Of the money awarded, approximately $3.4-million stems from the group’s investigative costs into the status of the water and expert analysis. About $4.85-million stems from its attorneys’ fees and litigation costs.

The $8.25-million covers costs incurred by the group through 2013. The legal battle is ongoing. Chris Stannell, a Teck spokesperson, in an e-mail Thursday said “we are disappointed in the decision and are reviewing the implications with counsel.”

Earlier this year, Teck was fined $3-million for three offences under the federal Fisheries Act and $400,000 for two offences under provincial legislation. The fines followed the discharge of heavy metals and pollutants from the Trail operation into the Columbia River.

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