On Friday, October 29th, the Montana Board of Environmental Review (MBER) agreed to review Teck Resources’ petition to appeal selenium limits in Montana waters. Teck Resources is the Canadian mining company solely responsible for excess selenium pollution in the Kootenai River watershed. Teck argues that Montana’s selenium limits are more restrictive than limits set for the rest of the U.S. 

The only source of selenium into Lake Koocanusa in Montana, and ultimately the Kootenai River in North Idaho, are four of Teck Resources’ mountain-top removal coal mines in the Elk River Valley in British Columbia.

Because MBER voted in favor of reviewing this petition, all information regarding the process of implementing those selenium limits will be reviewed over the following months to determine whether these limits accurately assessed the risk of selenium pollution in Montana. 

MBER did its due diligence in setting these limits on selenium pollution, protecting the health and well-being of U.S. wildlife and communities. Now, a Canadian mining company is trying to lessen these protections to continue business as usual and eventually expand those mines. 

There will be an opportunity for public comment in January.

Sign the petition today to request that the U.S. Department of State and Global Affairs Canada work together with indigenous governments to address mining pollution in the Kootenai watershed.