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Wednesday, September 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Through the years: The Trail, B.C., smelter

1896  Forerunner of Teck Resources’ current smelter opens to process copper and gold ore from the Rossland Mine in British Columbia.

1901  Lead ore added to the smelter’s product mix.

1925  Smelter stack boosts discharge of sulfur dioxide from 4,700 to 10,000 pounds per month. Northport citizens complain that air pollution is damaging property and sickening animals. The “Trail Smelter Case,” eventually settled for $428,000 in damages, becomes the first air pollution case brought before an international tribunal.

1995  Trail smelter stops dumping slag into the river.

1999  The Colville Confederated Tribes petition the Environmental Protection Agency to assess pollution in Lake Roosevelt.

2001 to 2003  The EPA samples river sediments; recommends remedial investigation to assess environmental and human health risks.

2006  The EPA reaches an agreement with Teck Resources to conduct an investigation that the company will fund.

2009  Studies begin.

From staff research

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