Court sets date for mine pollution lawsuit

Posted: Sunday, March 23, 2008

ANCHORAGE - Kivalina residents who sued the operator of the Red Dog Mine claiming pollution problems will have their day in federal court May 19.

The first part of the trial involves determining whether the zinc, lead and silver mine in northwest Alaska is liable for violations of its wastewater discharge permit.

Most violations involve dissolved solids, the substances used to remove metals from the mine's discharge.

The plaintiffs claim Teck Cominco Ltd. should pay the federal Environmental Protection Agency up to $70 million for violations.

The mining company says it is working toward compliance and the penalties proposed are outrageous.

The second part of the trial, beginning Aug. 11, would determine damages the mine should pay if found guilty.

U.S. District Judge John Sedwick is scheduled to preside at the trial.

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