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Opinion: Building cross-border trust means cleaning up the Tulsequah Chief

A Rivers Without Borders editorial in the Juneau Empire calls on Alaska officials to step up pressure on British Columbia to get moving on the long awaited Tulsequah Chief cleanup. As the editorial states, now into year sixty-six of its continuous degradation of the southeast Alaska transboundary region’s top salmon producing river system, and eight years since BC declared the situation unacceptable, the infamous abandoned mine’s pollution of the Taku persists. Indeed, as noted in the editorial, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Jason Brune stated in a recent forum that getting the mine cleaned up can’t happen soon enough, a sentiment we certainly appreciate.

That said, we believe the state needs to be more insistent in demanding action from BC. Ongoing remediation planning and on site stabilization work is laudable, but the province is moving slow, and it’s reasonable to expect better. Our editorial asks Alaska to be less deferential to BC when it comes to Tulsequah Chief. It also suggests that some additional federal engagement might be timely to push the matter. The Taku – as well as the indigenous people for whom it is home and the fishermen who depend on it for their livelihoods – deserve nothing less.

Read the full article here.

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