Report Details Concerns on Tailings Ponds
“Uncertainty Upstream: Potential Threats from Tailings Facility Failures in Northern British Columbia” doesn’t imply that all the tailings facilities noted in the survey will fail, rather, it cautions there is a potential threat and details the potential impact should a tailings pond breach, like the one at Mount Polley, occur.
According to the report, there are 35 tailings ponds on 48 key watersheds in the region from Williams Lake to the Yukon border, and from the Pacific to the Alberta border. The report says a breack could negatively impact any one of 33 First Nations, 2-00communities and 8,768 kilometers of fish bearing waters.
“This report will assist First Nations to better understand the location of tailings dams in their territories, the habitat and communities downstream of those facilities, and the cumulative impacts to their watersheds,” said Dave Porter, FNEMC’s CEO.
The report calls for:
- The protection of entire river, lake, and wetland ecosystems from industrial activities and impacts;
- Renewed focus on establishing headwater-to-mouth watershed protected areas for river systems with full complements of migratory fish to compensate for freshwater habitat and biodiversity lost and impaired in other watersheds;
- Protected areas that encompass watersheds and waterways to ensure rivers remain intact and hydrological flows are unimpaired;
- Mining companies and governments to ensure that impacted communities secure lasting, long-term economic benefits that enhance community health and sustainability;
- Communities and the public to be protected by funding mechanisms for unanticipated post mine-closure impacts or financial burdens for clean-up and remediation.
This full report can be accessed here .