Lincoln Co. Lawmaker Seeks Review of Selenium Standard on Koocanusa

A Republican lawmaker from Northwest Montana has introduced a bill instructing the Montana Environmental Quality Council (EQC) to reanalyze the state’s newly adopted selenium standard, which was set to protect Lake Koocanusa and its fish species from Canadian mining contaminants.

The measure by Rep. Steve Gunderson, R-Libby, comes less than a month after the corporate owner of Canada’s largest metallurgic coal mine — and the sole contributor of the mining byproduct selenium to Montana’s transboundary watershed — was ordered to pay $60 million in fines for leaching toxic contaminants into downstream waterways, including Lake Koocanusa and the Kootenai River in Montana.