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Tuesday, October 20, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Looking back

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 is 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 a multiyear investigation that the company will pay for.

2009: The studies begin.

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