Friday, August 23, 2019

Teck Agrees to clean up lead-contaminated properties in NE Washington

Teck Metals Limited and Teck American Incorporated will remove lead and other contaminants from 15 sites in northeast Washington as part of a settlement reached with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week.

In 2012, the Washington Department of Ecology discovered abnormal levels of lead, arsenic and cadmium near the border between the U.S. and Canada. The EPA conducted its own soil sampling from 74 properties in the area around Northport, 17 of which tested for high lead levels. This testing is part of a larger effort to determine the environmental and health consequences of pollution in the Upper Columbia River Site, and the EPA conducted further sampling in the area earlier this year.

As per the agreement, Teck will replace the contaminated soil at 14 residential sites and one tribal allotment, specifically focusing on the properties’ most heavily trafficked areas to reduce the potential dangers of lead exposure, which can be especially harmful to children.

The cleanup will begin this month and is expected to be finished by the end of October, although Teck also will work on three more Colville tribal allotments in the future..

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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