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19 eagles dead after 'deleterious substance' dumped at northern B.C. landfill

An eagle is seen at a landfill in Prince Rupert, B.C. in this photo shared by the city on Facebook. An eagle is seen at a landfill in Prince Rupert, B.C. in this photo shared by the city on Facebook.
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The City of Prince Rupert says its staff recently encountered 19 dead eagles at the local landfill after a "deleterious substance" was dumped by a third party.

The city says in a statement posted online Friday that officials are still working to identify the substance, which was dumped at the landfill's liquid waste site.

"We immediately notified all appropriate authorities and mitigated the risk to the local environment and wildlife with all means available to us," the statement reads, adding that city staff began the cleanup the same day the spill was discovered.

An environmental consultant has been hired to assist with identifying the substance and developing a long-term action plan, the city says.

"The city is thankful that this spill was contained to the pond and has not been released into the environment through the outfall," the statement reads.

"Tragically, 19 eagles perished due to this event, which was a devastating outcome that deeply impacted our staff. We also understand the cultural importance of eagles and all wildlife to our local First Nations and the distressing impact this will have on many residents."

The city says it's "working closely" with the provincial and federal environment ministries "to identify mitigations and controls that will prevent this type of incident" in the future.  

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