Teck is committed to protecting the water in Lake Koocanusa

| December 8, 2020 7:00 AM

To the editor:

Regarding the recent letters to the editor in The Western News regarding Lake Koocanusa, I wanted to provide an update on the Elk Valley Water Quality Plan (EVWQP).

Teck is committed to protecting water quality on both sides of the border and has made significant progress implementing the Elk Valley Water Quality Plan (EVWQP). We have built two water treatment facilities, successfully treating 4.6 million gallons of water per day. Further treatment facilities will be completed in 2021 and Teck will have capacity to treat 12.5 million gallons per day. Teck has invested significantly in the EVWQP and we estimate investing a further $350-$400 million (Canadian) on water treatment from 2021 to 2024.

It is important to note that annual averages of selenium levels in the lake have been stable since 2014. Teck supports a science-based selenium criteria in Lake Koocanusa, however is concerned about the lack of consensus from the scientific experts on the Selenium Technical Subcommittee (SeTSC) who were charged with recommending a science-based standard. Of seven SeTSC members, only four submitted recommendations, and those ranged from 0.6 to 1.5 micrograms per liter.

Our hope is that the Board of Environmental Review and Department of Environmental Quality allows time to complete the collaborative consensus-based process previously underway.

More information, including water reports, can be found at teck.com/elkvalley. Teck shares water monitoring data with the US EPA’s Water Quality Data Portal, a publicly accessible database.

Marcia Smith

Senior Vice President, Sustainability and External Affairs, Teck Resources Limited