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Red Dog Mine

Anchorage, AK: (May-16-08) Six residents of Kivalina, a Northwest Inupiaq village, brought a lawsuit against Teck Cominco Alaska Inc., the operator of the Red Dog zinc and lead mine, in 2004, alleging that the mine contaminated their water supply. The suit saw the Kivalina residents accuse Red Dog of violating its federal water pollution discharge permit more than 2,400 times in the past decade. It said that the mine discharges its treated wastewater into a stream that feeds into the Wulik River, where Kivalina residents get most of their drinking water from. Teck was sued under a provision of the federal Clean Water Act that allows residents to seek penalties when permit holders violate the act.

While the original lawsuit sought as much as $70 million, sources familiar with the negotiations stated that the two sides had reached a confidential settlement, resolving the dispute. Residents said that back in 1999, the US Environmental Protection Agency approved a more lenient, interim standard for total dissolved solids at the mine, but that the agency's action did not shield the mine from a citizen suit under the federal act. The settlement of the multimillion-dollar water pollution violations lawsuit is said to have come right before it was due for trial in Anchorage. [ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS: RED DOG MINE SETTLES WATER LAWSUIT]


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Published on May-21-08


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