Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett addresses media during the release of the Chief Inspector of Mines' investigation report into the Mount Polley Mine breach.

Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett addresses media during the release of the Chief Inspector of Mines' investigation report into the Mount Polley Mine breach.

No charges recommended against Mount Polley

An investigation report by the Chief Inspector of Mines is not recommending charges against Mount Polley Mine.

An investigation report by the Chief Inspector of Mines is not recommending charges against Mount Polley Mine for the Aug. 4, 2014 tailings impoundment breach.

“During our 15-month investigation into the breach we found no non-compliance with mines act permits or regulations,” said Chief Inspector of Mines Al Hoffman Thursday during a media conference. “Although there were poor practices by the company there were no offences we could find.”

Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett said a series of dominoes led to the failure.

“The unstable and unknown glaco-lacustrine level underneath the dam, the over steep slopes, lack of beaches inside the tailings impoundment, too much water and excavation outside the mine left there for eight months all led to the failure,” Bennett said.

There is still an ongoing investigation by the Conservation Officer Service and there may be the possibility of prosecution there, both Hoffman and Bennett said.

When asked how he felt about the event happening under his watch, Hoffman said it was the most difficult thing he has dealt with.

“Now I feel very strongly that we have recommendations going forward that we can to a large extent prevent this from happening again,” Hoffman said.

Bennett said in the report there are incidents of ministry of energy and mines staff asking all the right questions and the engineer of record responding that everything was OK.

“The accident at Mount Polley is an anomaly and not what ordinarily happens in B.C.” Bennett said. “I think there is a real need now that we are responding to examine how much we rely on best practices and guidelines that are established outside the regulator’s domain.”

There has to be more of a cushion in terms of the level of risk as there was when the “terrible and inexcusable accident happened,” he added.

The report is recommending all mines with TSFs be required to have a designated mine dam safety manager and a designated individual to oversee the mine’s water balance and water management plan.

Mines with TSFs will be required to have water management plans designed by a qualified professional and an independent technical review board will be required for all mines with TSFs.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Williams Lake Fire Chief Erick Peterson said his department along with other fire departments in the region will be doing some wildfire urban interface training on Sunday, May 9 in the Williams Lake area. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Wildfire urban interface training slated for Williams Lake area Sunday, May 9

Williams Lake, Quesnel, Miocene and 150 Mile House fire departments participating

Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty advises Conservative leader Erin O’Toole on mental health and wellness. (House of Commons Photography)
Cariboo-Prince George MP calling for 1-year deadline to establish 3-digit suicide hotline

Todd Doherty’s motion calling for 9-8-8 as a national hotline passed unanimously in December

Cool Clear Water on Mackenzie Avenue posted a sign on its board for its neighbour, Integra Tire. (Photo submitted)
Sign Wars building life of its own in Williams Lake

Lakecity business have joined in on the fun initiative sweeping the province

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland third behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The postponement of the event was put in place to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Junior A team Coquitlam Express is offering all Tri-City residents who get vaccinated against COVID-19 a free ticket to one of their games. (Facebook/Coquitlam Express)
B.C. hockey team offering free tickets to hometown fans who get the COVID-19 vaccine

‘We know the only way to get fans back is people getting vaccinated,’ says Express’ general manager Tali Campbell

Most Read