Federal and tribal coalitions challenge Canadian mining – by Liz Weber (High Country News – July 8, 2019)


‘It’s about British Columbia being a really bad actor as an upstream neighbor that pollutes our water.’

The headwaters of the Stikine River begin in northern British Columbia and flow southwest in a long arching comma. The river carves through the landscape, unconcerned with international or tribal boundaries before crossing into the United States where it empties into the Eastern Passage near Wrangell, Alaska.

Yet the Stikine River is among America’s most endangered rivers, threatened by British Columbia’s upstream mining practices, according to American Rivers, a river basin advocacy group.

The river’s problems represent the decades-long struggle to put international regulations on the contaminants flowing downstream from B.C.’s open-pit hard rock and coal mines. Now, two separate coalitions of U.S. senators and tribal leaders are joining forces to once again demand action.

Eight senators from four northern border states – Alaska, Washington, Idaho and Montana – signed a letter in June, urging B.C. Premier John Horgan to recognize that mining contamination in U.S.-Canada rivers threatens American resources and livelihoods, and asking the provincial government to allocate attention and resources to the issue.

“It’s important that we get the right folks to the table and have an honest conversation about how we solve this problem,” said Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.

For the rest of this article: https://www.hcn.org/articles/mining-federal-and-tribal-coalitions-challenge-canadian-mining-practices

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