Federal appeals court upholds judgment against Teck Cominco

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld an $8.25 million judgment against a Canadian company that for decades dumped toxic smelter waste that flowed down the Columbia River into Lake Roosevelt.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday affirmed a lower court ruling that Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd. was liable for the costs incurred by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in responding to the pollution.

At issue is Teck Cominco's giant lead and zinc smelter in Trail, British Columbia, 10 miles north of the U.S.-Canada border. The U.S. government has long contended the smelter is the largest source of metals pollution in Lake Roosevelt.

Teck Cominco has contended the pollution came from several sources and it shouldn't be saddled with all the costs.