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October 27, 2017 10:19 pm

Comments Invited on Mt. Polley Environmental Impact Report

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 @ 5:58 AM

Williams Lake, B.C.- British Columbians have  until July 31st to comment on the  latest environmental impact assessment  report  on the Mt. Polley   tailings  pond breach.Mt.Polleyreport-630x357

( at right,  image of  Hazeltine Creek after being scoured by the tailings pond breach – 250News archive)

It has been nearly  two years since  the  August 4th  2014  tailings pond breach at the Mt. Polley mine breached,  sending  25 million cubic meters of water and tailings  into Polley Lake, then Hazeltine Creek and  Quesnel Lake.

The report,  prepared  by the Mount Polley Mining Corporation,  says  remediation  and restoration work is ” resulting in re-vegetation and recolonization of impacted areas including Polley Lake, Hazeltine Creek, the mouth of Edney Creek and the West Basin of Quesnel Lake.”

The report  also indicates the tailings are not acid generating and  have “low leaching potential”  and that  total metals in Quesnel Lake are “not toxic  to various aquatic species and are decreasing in concentrations.”

The full report can be accessed here.

There is still work  underway including  assessing impacts on fish and fish habitat,  risks to human health and the development of  a  long term plan  for monitoring, mitigation and remediation.

Public feedback will be used in  forming the  company’s long term plan for environmental  remediation and restoration plan. Comments  can be emailed to : MtPolleyEnvironmental.Enquiries@gov.bc.ca



The BC Auditor General was in the middle of a two year review of the BC Mining Sector when the catastrophic failure of the Mount Polley tailings pond dam occurred. In its report, the BC Auditor General states than the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) is responsible for overseeing, regulating and enforcing mining operations “on site” while the Ministry of Environment (MoE) responsibilities apply generally to regulating the impact of mining activities that extend beyond the borders of the mine site. MoE regulates the quantity and quality of any waste discharges from metal and coal mines to ensure the protection of the environment.

The BC Auditor General has found that; “Neither MEM nor MoE are conducting adequate monitoring and site inspections and neither have assessed how this is impacting risks.; and the two ministries are not informing the public and legislators about the long-term risks from mining, the effectiveness of the agencies’ regulatory oversight, and the overall performance of the companies being regulated.”

Question: Why is the public being asked to review a report prepared by the Mount Polley Mining Corporation on an issue they have not been adequately informed about in the first place? Why is there little to no MoE environmental assessment and review of the tailing spill impacts that is included in this Mining Company’s report? Given that the Ministry of Environment has laid off environmental scientists and experts, how is it possible that the MoE even has the capacity and resources to conduct a quality environmental assessment on the impacts of the Company’s tailings pond spill?

In my opinion most all of the environmental impact assessments contained in this report, prepared by the Mount Polley Mining Corporation, should be done by MoE scientists and experts. Obviously this Christy Clark government perpetuates an industry lead response to environmental disaster review, assessment and reporting on the very disasters caused by the industry themselves, its a bizzaro world folks!

www .bcauditor.com/sites/default/files/publications/reports/OAGBC%20Mining%20Report%20FINAL.pdf

You could go up the hill to the university and ask them. I believe they are doing research on the spill.

Bill Bennett Minister of Energy and Mines announced yesterday that he will not run in the next election. Hmmmm.

Perhaps he could give us a report on the Mount Polly fiasco before he leaves, after all it happened under his watch.

I think the Government needs to implement a tailngs pond tax, that should solve everything.

I would like to see some individuals actually take ownership of the poor decisions that allowed this to happen. This breach did not just “happen”. The govt and the company knew that the pond was too full.

It is sad that we live in a society where nobody has to own their poor decisions. Never anyone’s fault, nobody has to hang. Look at these events:
Mt Polley dam breach
Babine explosion
Lakeland explosion

No fault, no blame…

    Follow the money watchdog.

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