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Regional district paid steep price for Kootenay tailings pond

The tailings pond near Salmo, B.C., after a partial dam collapse forced the Regional District of Central Kootenay to drain the water that had transformed the tailings pond into a small lake (Bob Keating/CBC)

One month ago today people in Salmo were worried about a dam on a toxic tailings pond bursting, potentially sending a rush of heavy metals and rainwater onto their property.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay declared a state of emergency and spent half a million dollars pumping out the tailings and repairing the dam.

That raises the question: Why does a regional district own a tailings pond to begin with?

The answer takes us from the Kootenays to Panama City.

Kootenay reporter Bob Keating explains.
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