SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - A federal judge will decide soon whether a Canadian smelter operator is subject to the U.S. Superfund law, and must pay to clean up nearly a century of pollution.
Teck Metals Ltd. is based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Teck contends that as a Canadian company operating in Canada, it is not subject to U.S. laws. The state of Washington and an Indian tribe, who have sued the company, believe Teck intentionally polluted Lake Roosevelt for decades and now must pay to clean it up.
Teck is one of Canada's largest mining companies, and its smelter 10 miles north of the U.S. border discharged mining waste directly into the river for a century. The next big decision is expected in December, when U.S. District Court Judge Lonny Suko is to rule whether the federal court has jurisdiction over Teck.