- If you are not yet a Down To Earth subscriber, please click here to subscribe: Subscription
- If you are an existing Down To Earth subscriber, please log in to download digital archives.
The residents of Kivilina, an Inupiat Eskimo village on Alaska's northwestern coast, are seeing red. Their ire is directed at the Red God Mine -- the world's largest zinc producing unit. It is due to mining activity at this site that the quality of local drinking water has deteriorated. The villagers, whose staple diet is fish, have also witnessed fish and wildlife populations suffer since 1989 when the mining operations commenced at the site.
The agitated villagers have sued Teck Cominco Limited, the company that set up the mine. The lawsuit follows failed negotiations between the company and the residents. The Kivilina people have charged Teck with 2,171 federal water-pollution violations, which have been ignored by the state and the us Environmental Protection Agency.
Filed as a citizens' action under provisions of the Clean Water Act, the suit seeks more than us $59 million in fines or the maximum us $27,500 for each violation. However, under federal law any monetary damages imposed as a result of the case would go to the us government and not to the Kivilina plaintiffs.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.