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9th Circuit allows tribal suit against mine company

Members of the Confederated Colville Tribes sue to a Canadian company over pollution in the Columbia River, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said on Monday.

Tribal members sued Teck Cominco in 2004 under the federal Superfund law. They say the company dumped millions of tons of mine waste into the river.

The company responded that it wasn't subject to U.S. laws. The mine operation is located a few miles across the border.

The 9th Circuit rejected that argument. In a unanimous decision, the court said the company has to answer to the lawsuit because the pollution affects U.S. territory.

Get the Story:
Appeals court allows suit against Canadian smelter to go forward (AP 7/3)

Court Decision:
Pakootas v. Teck Cominco (July 3, 2006)

Relevant Links:
Colville Confederated Tribes -

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State joins tribal lawsuit against mining company (9/1)
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Colville Tribes sue Canadian company over pollution (07/22)