Concerned Citizens say ‘No’ to Discharge of Mine Effluent into Quesnel Lake
Prince George, B.C. – The Concerned Citizens of Quesnel Lake are making some demands on the three-year anniversary of the breach at Mount Polley.
Considered “the worst disaster in Canadian mining history,” 25 million cubic metres of contaminated waste from the Mount Polley mine made its way down Hazeltine Creek and into Quesnel Lake on Aug. 4, 2014.
In a letter to NDP Premier John Horgan to mark the anniversary, the group is saying “no” to the discharge of mine effluent into Quesnel Lake and asking the government to rescind a permit issued last April (by the previous BC Liberal government) that allows the company, Mount Polley Mining Corporation, to dump up to 10,000,000m3 per year of “toxic mine waste into the once pristine waters of Quesnel Lake.”
The group says, “no discharge of effluent to Quesnel Lake should be permitted until the cumulative long-term effects of the initial Mine tailings breach are fully understood.”
They are also demanding that the government initiate a full scale public inquiry into the breach and that Victoria develops site specific water quality criteria based on the water quality of Quesnel Lake prior to the breach which they argue will “ensure the Lake water quality and aquatic environment are not impacted by the effluent discharge.”
The group is also asking the government to form a citizens’ monitoring committing, make all data reporting available publicly online and that government ensures sufficient research is conducted on the long-term impacts on the Quesnel Lake ecosystem of both the breach and the permitted effluent discharge.