Wild Border Watersheds

Alaska senator voices U.S. concerns over Mount Polley dam breach (The Province)

Concern about the Mount Polley tailings-pond collapse has reached Washington, D.C.

One senator is calling on the U.S. State Department to “demand a thorough investigation into the cause of this disaster” amid fears that a similar breach at proposed mining sites along shared Alaska-B.C. waterways could negatively impact U.S. interests.

Democratic Senator Mark Begich of Alaska urged U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in an Aug. 6 letter to raise the issue of the collapse, and the potential impact future breaches could have on Alaska’s economy and culture, during “appropriate bilateral meetings with your Canadian counterparts.”

In his letter, Begich noted that similar failures at proposed mining sites near the salmon-bearing Unuk, Stikine and Taku rivers — which flow from B.C. into Alaska — would directly impact Alaska’s fishery stocks as well as “substance and cultural needs” of three First Nations groups in his state.

(To read complete source article, click "The Province")

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