< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://davejustus.com/" >

Friday, March 11, 2005

Environmental Republican: Blame Canada!

Environmental Republican links to a story about environmental pollution in my neck of the woods. It seems a Canadian company, Teck Cominco Ltd., is responsible for most of the heavy metal pollution in Lake Roosevelt (the reservoir behind Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River.) They have so far refused to clean up the mess and claim they are not subject to EPA authority. I could go into a rant about Canada here, but I will refrain even though that would please a friend of mine who, ever since an unfortunate incident with parts he had ordered being delayed by Canadian Customs has deeply loathed Canada and everything associated with it. Instead, I think this event is very illustrative of the difficulties with Environmental Regulation. A huge problem with maintaining a clean environment is that so many negative effects happen somewhere else. Canada is not adversely affected by pollution in a U.S. river and thus has no particular interest in worrying about this factory (it is only 10 miles from the border.) The U.S. certainly has no direct authority over a Canadian Company. This sort of problem is common in all border areas throughout the world. Unfortunately, there is no immediate good sollution to this general problem, although specific agreements (The State Department is negotiating with Canada now) can solve individual issues. In theory, a world environmental court seems like a possible sollution to this sort of issue, established by treaty and probably tied to the WTO. In practice, I think the world will have to change considerably before we could be insured of fair judges on such a body and have confidence that they would in some way be accountable to the people.


Post a Comment

<< Home