Teck is developing a plan in response to an assessment that found 7

Teck plan includes Nelson area

A remediation plan by Teck Trail operation will extend as far north as Grohman Narrows, the regional district heard Thursday.

A remediation plan by Teck Trail operation will extend as far north as Grohman Narrows even though there is no sign of smelter-related contamination in the area.

It’s part of the company’s response to an assessment that found vegetation risks can’t be ruled out on 7,900 hectares of the lower Columbia valley.

“It’s not that those 7,900 hectares are contaminated,” Nelson-based ecological consultant Marlene Machmer said. “It’s that based on looking at the vegetation one cannot say there were no effects from the smelter emissions.”

The potentially affected lands stretch from Genelle south to the US border and represent 18.5 per cent of the total area of interest, which extends as far north as Castlegar.

Under BC contaminated site regulations, Teck has to come up with a remediation plan for that area. But Machmer says the company wants to develop a more comprehensive plan that almost reaches Nelson.

“Teck’s rationale for looking at the larger area is that there are a number of opportunities within the broader landscape for restoration, enhancement, and conservation,” she said. “The expanded area is not necessarily being looked at for remediation, but for opportunities.”

The wider area allows the company more flexibility to offset impacts in certain locations by restoring others. However, Teck is still discussing with the Ministry of Environment what a potential offset is worth.

“If we develop a two-acre wetland in a location which is prime habitat, what would an offset be based on the value of that wetland? We don’t know yet,” company biologist Dave DeRosa said.

He cited the example of a new mine whose footprint is offset with enhanced or protected lands elsewhere. “That’s what this program is about. We want to bring what was potentially impacted back to a state where we’ve caused no net loss in the valley.”

Specific projects haven’t been named but may include improving soil conditions and habitat preservation.

DeRosa said no Teck contaminants are known to exist at Grohman Narrows or in the Nelson area, but the company has land holdings along the Kootenay River which might prove useful to the overall plan. Other private landowners will also likely be involved.

Machmer and DeRosa appeared before the Regional District of Central Kootenay board Thursday.

Just Posted

Nelson CARES to buy Hall-Front development for affordable housing

A $4.5-million investment from the provincial government has been committed to the deal

Aimee Watson elected RDCK chair

The representative for North Kootenay Lake took over this week

Glacier Gymnastics to add multi-purpose room

The expanded space will help accommodate the popular after-school programming

Woman searching for father last seen in Nelson in 1999

Frank Johnson’s daughter, Chandra Machin, is searching for her father

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Liberals to act quickly if Saturday midnight deal deadline breached: source

Oh Friday, Canadian Union of Postal Workers said it would not bring the latest offers to a vote of its members

Most Read