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Consumer health advocates urge governor to sign bill package; NY protests for Jewish democracy heighten as Netanyahu meets UN today; Multiple Utah cities set to use ranked-choice voting in next election.

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The Pentagon wants to help service members denied benefits under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," advocates back a new federal office of gun violence prevention, and a top GOP member assures the Ukrainian president more help is coming.

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An Indigenous project in South Dakota seeks to protect tribal data sovereignty, advocates in North Carolina are pushing back against attacks on public schools, and Arkansas wants the hungriest to have access to more fruits and veggies.

Tribes Call for Greater Regulation of BC Mines Threatening NW Waters

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Monday, December 12, 2022   

Tribes in Washington and other western states are calling for greater regulation of upstream British Columbia mines that impact their waterways across the border.

Companies in Canada are considering expanding mines in the province.

Chairman of the Colville Confederated Tribes Jarred-Michael Erickson said there's concern about the Copper Mountain mine in Canada north of central Washington and mega-dams holding toxic tailings from the mine that could fail.

He said pollution from the mine also threatens their efforts to recover endangered fish species like salmon in the region.

"It's a lot of money invested," said Erickson. "And not only that, but obviously, we don't want to have contaminated water, right? Whatever is behind their dam, we don't want that coming downriver to us and impacting our water quality, and then potential loss of life as well."

Tribal representatives, including Erickson, and conservation groups traveled to Washington, D.C. last week and met with congressional delegates from Alaska, Montana and Washington - as well as leadership in the Interior Department, State Department and Environmental Protection Agency.

They also met with Canadian embassy representatives.

Erickson said Canada should update its mining regulations to meet those of the United States.

The Executive Director of Conservation Northwest, Mitch Friedman, said copper is necessary for clean energy technology - but notes there are lower-risk ways to extract it, albeit with a higher price tag.

"We need a green revolution to save the atmosphere, the sky," said Friedman. "But we can't do it at the expense of our rivers. So we need to get copper, an invaluable mineral, in safer ways."

Friedman said reports on the Copper Mountain mine and the tall dams used to hold back its toxic tailings have raised alarms about the catastrophic effect the dams' failures could have, including loss of life downstream.

One report estimates the chances of failure of the dams to be between one in one hundred and one in one thousand.

According to U.S. and Canadian guidelines, the probability of failure should be less than one in a million.




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