Vancouver-based mining giant Teck Cominco has agreed to study whether a mining operation in the province poisoned a 150-mile stretch of the Columbia River. This international lawsuit, filed by the EPA, was really the work of locals in Eastern Washington, according to the Washington Post. Tribal leaders took the lead and pressured the federal agency to take action. The public radio show Living on Earth broadcast an in-depth feature about this dispute in February. You can listen to it here.

The company is a financial powerhouse in Canada, and was recently in the news for mounting a hostile takeover of another large mining firm. Teck Cominco is the top donor to the B.C. Liberal Party, which has dominated provincial politics since 2001 when they swept the NDP out of power with a humiliating defeat.