It looks like the settlement between the Red Dog Mine and residents of Kivalina is falling apart.
The operator of the Red Dog asked a federal judge Friday to enforce an agreed-to and amended settlement of a multimillion-dollar lawsuit accusing the mine of discharging excess pollutants into a creek.
Just before the case went to trial in May, both sides filed a notice in federal court saying they had reached an agreement settling all the claims in the lawsuit.
But in its filing on Friday, the mine operator, Teck Cominco, said the plaintiffs in the lawsuit -- six people from the Northwest Arctic village of Kivalina -- had changed their minds several days later.
All but one of the plaintiffs' proposed changes to the settlement have been resolved, according to Teck.
The sticking point is a clause that allows future lawsuits involving violations of the mine's water pollution permit, the British Columbia-based company said.
The plaintiffs say if Teck won't accept the disputed change, the company must either pay additional money or go to trial, according to the court filing.
Teck wants U.S. District Judge John Sedwick to enforce the original settlement with the agreed-to changes.
In the settlement, Teck agrees to:
Seek state and federal permission to build a pipeline to discharge the mine's treated wastewater in the ocean.
Give water filtration units to residents of Kivalina.
Give a so-far-unspecified amount of money to the Native village.
Pay automatic penalties if the mine's agreed-on effluent limits are exceeded.
Find Elizabeth Bluemink online at adn.com/contact/ebluemink or call 257-4317.