The British Columbia government won’t file charges in the Mount Polley mine disaster. Critics in Southeast say the lack of enforcement action increases their concerns about transboundary mines.
Southeast Alaska tribal groups are calling for cleanup of British Columbia’s long-abandoned Tulsequah Chief Mine. The call comes as a Canadian investment firm shops the prospect to potential new owner.
Juneau’s three state legislators spoke at the most recent Native Issues Forum, sponsored by the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. A question from an audience member prompted discussion about the transboundary between Alaska and British Columbia.
British Columbia says it will stop polluted Tulsequah Chief Mine water from entering a salmon-rich river that flows into Southeast Alaska near Juneau.
Southeast Alaska gained legislative power but lost ferry sailings in 2016. No new transboundary mines opened but Alaska-British Columbia safety talks advanced.
Alaska and British Columbia are working out details of how they will handle transboundary mine concerns.
Tribal leaders, scientists, fishermen and community members warned a legislative committee of the consequences of a cross-border mining disaster.
Alaska and British Columbia officials signed a statement of cooperation Thursday aimed at protecting rivers that flow through the province and the state.
“No matter how good the talks are between Alaska and B.C., those aren’t the talks the need to be happening,” the head of a transboundary mining group said.
The company trying to reopen the controversial Tulsequah Chief Mine, upstream from Juneau, is being taken over by an investor. An environmental cleanup may be left to the British Columbia government.