Public meetings set to discuss Canadian coal mining’s impact on Montana waters

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The Kootenai River Network announced Oct. 4 two public meetings to discuss proposed and ongoing coal mining operations in the Elk River Valley of British Columbia and their potential impacts on down-river water quality in Montana.

The first meeting will be held 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 16 in the Lincoln County High School auditorium at 340 9th St. in Eureka.

The second meeting will be held 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 17 in the Hilton Garden Inn’s Glacier Room II at 1840 Highway 93 South in Kalispell.

A moderated panel of experts and representatives will speak at both meetings, a news release states. It’s comprised of representatives from Montana Departments of Environmental Quality; Fish, Wildlife and Parks; the British Columbia Ministry of Environment; Teck Coal; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; the U.S. State Department; the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho; and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

The panel will be asked to identify contaminants of concern and their source, explain water quality laws and whether any have been broken, discuss the impacts on Montana fishing, and describe how Montanans can have a voice in the process, among other items, according to the news release.

Attendees will be able to ask questions of the panel following its discussion.

For more information visit www.kootenairivernetwork.com.

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