Libby lawmaker eyes legislative change to Lake Koocanusa selenium standard

A Republican lawmaker from Libby on Wednesday spoke on behalf of a bill that seeks to strike the existing water quality standard for selenium in Lake Koocanusa and double the limit.

Selenium is a chemical element entering Lake Koocanusa, a reservoir shared by British Columbia and Montana, from Canadian mining company Teck Coal. Even in small quantities, selenium can hamper reproductive success in fish. Selenium toxicity can also lead to spinal and facial deformities in fish. 

Opposing the proposed bill, environmental and conservation organizations, along with representatives from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, described the 0.8 micrograms-per-liter standard the state adopted in 2020 as scientifically based and critical to protect Koocanusa’s fishery from Teck’s metallurgical coal-mining operation. No proponents spoke on behalf of the bill.
About Montana BHA

The voice for Montana's wild public lands, waters and wildlife

See other posts related to Montana issues Montana BHA habitat