Canada Mine Approvals Threaten Alaska Fishing Communities

By Renee Lewis, Al Jazeera – Almost one year after an unprecedented spill from a mine tailings pond in Canada’s largely pristine province of British Columbia, its government has given the green light for the mine to reopen — worrying environmentalists who say a number of other northern B.C. copper and gold mines are in various phases of approval, and could threaten downstream fishing communities in southeastern Alaska. The provincial government  approved a restart of Imperial Metal’s Mount Polley mine, which has been closed since its waste dam failed last August and released 6.6 billion gallons of toxic tailings including arsenic, lead and nickel into salmon-producing lakes and streams of the Fraser River watershed. Residents of southeastern Alaska, many of whom depend on fishing and tourism for their livelihoods, expressed concern at the announcement. “The British Columbia and Canadian governments seem to be glossing over the Mount Polley disaster by ignoring recommendations of mining...

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