Lake Koocanusa. Photo: Tony Webster

Defend our rivers from coal mine pollution

Coal mines in the BC Rockies send toxic selenium pollution downstream that puts fish in danger, not just in BC, but in Lake Koocanusa and the Kootenai River for hundreds of kilometres through Montana and Idaho — and back into BC. With no long-term solution in sight, Teck has proposed Castle, yet another massive mountain-top removal coal mine that would make the pollution problem even worse, not just now, but for centuries.

Selenium pollution is a disaster for fish, from westslope cutthroat trout near the mines to sensitive species like burbot and sturgeon further downstream. But neither BC nor Canada is willing to step up to protect our clean water. First Nations, governments and the US Environmental Protection Agency are raising the alarm in the US, but they aren’t being heard in Canada.

Will you speak up for our shared rivers today?



There’s an organization that’s dedicated to solving pollution problems between Canada and the US. It’s called the International Joint Commission, set up under the longstanding Boundary Waters Treaty. The Commission knows we have a big problem with coal mine water pollution and they’re willing and ready to step in to bring all the players together, to take on fully independent science and monitoring, and to look for a long-term solution to clean up our rivers. But before the Commission can act, they need both the Canadian and US federal governments to agree to let them get started.

Please send a message today to both the Canadian and US governments, asking them to direct the International Joint Commission to help us sort out coal mine pollution in our shared watershed.


Westslope cutthroat trout. Photo: Michael J Ready, ILCP