NOTE: Closing the Liability Gap in the International Transboundary Water Pollution Regime, Using Domestic Law to Hold Polluters Accountable: A Case Study of Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Ltd. Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2005 University of Oregon
Oregon Review of International Law

NOTE: Closing the Liability Gap in the International Transboundary Water Pollution Regime, Using Domestic Law to Hold Polluters Accountable: A Case Study of Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Ltd.

Spring, 2005

7 Or. Rev. Int'l L. 322

Author

Rachel Kastenberg*

Excerpt

Pollution does not obey borders, and although states have the right to exercise control over their natural resources that right is limited when there are effects on neighboring states. Transboundary pollution is the externality that occurs when pollution from one state crosses over into a neighboring state; it therefore generally involves two states or a small number of states. 1 Potentially harmful environmental agents can have transboundary effects on other jurisdictions by migrating through natural mediums such as air, water, or soil. 2 The 6,400 kilometer border between the United States and Canada is one of the longest in the world, and industrial development on both sides has led to water pollution along the border. 3

Recently, a water pollution dispute arose between Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd. ("Teck Cominco"), the owner and operator of a smelter in Trail, British Columbia, and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation across the border in Washington ("Confederated Tribes"). After negotiations over the pollution levels in Lake Roosevelt failed, the Confederated Tribes (backed by the Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") and later joined by the State of Washington) brought a lawsuit in federal court in Washington under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act ("CERCLA"). 4 The purpose of this suit was to seek remediation for 100 years of pollution. 5 In response to the filing of Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Ltd., Teck Cominco, operating solely in Canada, claimed that U.S. domestic law played no role in this ...
 
 
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