Can you be liable for damages if you didn't mean to do it? Can the pollution laws of one country be enforced in another? When it comes to politics and the environment, laws really only count when they are on your side, as we saw when Germans ironically declared it wrong for an American to dump iron dust in the ocean for a geo-engineering experiment, yet the same loophole was completely ethical when they did it three years ago.
Americans in the state of Washington are not happy that Canadians are dumping all of their pollution in the US and don't want to pay the $1 billion it will cost to clean it up so they are suing in court. The Canadians say British Columbia is not actually part of the United States so a US court ruling is meaningless, and they didn't mean to dump all that slag from their giant lead and zinc smelter into America. It seems that when that factory started no one was aware pollution could travel 10 miles down a river. They also contend it is not pollution. I guess that is how awesome refuse from Canadian factories is.
The company being targeted by the lawsuit, Teck, says it is not to blame. They say it is the almost 1,000 other metals mines and mills also dumping pollution into the river that are mucking up Washington state. Since they are not the sole culprit, the Canadian and US governments should pay to clean up their pollution, they contend, but Canada's government protests even a joint clean-up, which means American taxpayers would be on the hook. Teck also notes that the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area isn't actually being polluted by their slag, since it is not harmful. Maybe brochures could highlight black sand as a tourist attraction.
Canadians have it easy. To the US EPA, even clean water is considered a pollutant in rivers. In Canada, nothing is considered pollution - if it ends up over the US border.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- The Five Stages Of A Dying Theory
- Order Patterned With Chaos - How Climate Is Predicted For Decades - With Exact Forecasts Only For Days
- Should Pregnant Women Be Concerned About BPA?
- Something is wrong in the Arctic
- Is The X(5568) A True Resonance ?
- Determining Prostate Cancer Risk With A DNA Methylation Biomarker
- Neanderthals: Not So Dumb
- "I brought up the topic of your photography because you have a genuine talent which deserves a wider..."
- "Rafi Letzter writing for Business Insider reports -The Arctic is now missing enough ice to cover..."
- "Thank you for your compliments on my photography, it is just one of my many hobbies. Nothing is..."
- "So where do the 'rapidly eliminated' BPA metabolites come from? Apparently there is now a steady..."
- "It means that it is nonsense as usual. It is just a video of a program that lets you play around..."
- Uh-Oh — Smokers Are Drinking the 'Additives Cause the Cancer' Kool-Aid
- A New Way to Prevent HIV Infection
- A Novel Way to Stop HIV
- A Very Cool Way To Treat Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- It’s Not Brain Surgery, But do You Know What is? Brain Surgery!
- Four New Superheavy Elements Have Official Names