Associated Press – JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – Canadian officials say they will take action to prevent polluted water from a decades-old mine from entering the Taku River, a key source of salmon caught in southeast Alaska.
British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett told CoastAlaska News (http://bit.ly/2iGcewN) experts will explore different options, including plugging leaking tunnels from the defunct Tulsequah Chief Mine. The acidic water has been carrying pollutants into the Tulsequah River, which is a tributary of the Taku near Juneau.
The mine hasn’t operated since 1957, and the two companies that tried to reopen it in the last 20 years have been unsuccessful.
Canadian officials had ordered the site’s most recent developer, Chieftain Meals, to clean up the site, but the company went bankrupt last fall.
“They were not able before freeze-up to do anything about the settling pond that exists beside the river that captures the runoff from the hill that the old mine was built into,” Bennett said. A government contractor took care of improperly stored chemicals and petroleum products.
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