Mount Polley Mining Corporation’s post event environmental impact assessment report (PEEIAR) on the August 2014 tailings storage facility breach has been made available to the public for a 30-day comment period.
As a requirement of the pollution abatement order, Mount Polley Mining Corporation must submit a report to the Ministry of Environment outlining the environmental impact caused by the breach of the tailings storage facility and assesses physical, chemical and biological information collected from the spill.
“Public feedback will help inform the company’s long-term environmental remediation and restoration plan,” the ministry said in a press release Tuesday.
Findings in Mount Polley’s report, as outlined by the ministry, include:
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.
Geochemistry investigations continue to indicate the tailings are not acid-generating and have low leaching potential.
Surface water and toxicity tests show total metals and turbidity are not toxic to various aquatic species and are decreasing in concentrations.
Additional information regarding sediments lost to Polley Lake, Hazeltine Creek and Quesnel Lake still needs to be collected by the company.
More detailed information regarding sediment quality in Polley and Quesnel lakes also needs to be collected to determine the impact of the deposited materials. This work will be carried out in 2016.
Phase two of the environmental remediation and restoration plan is ongoing and current activities include assessing the impacts and extent of the breach (including impacts on fish and fish habitat), determining risks to human health and the environment, and developing and implementing long-term monitoring, mitigation and remediation plans.
First Nations, local community members, the regional district, provincial and federal government representatives and their associated consultants have all received advanced copies of the report, the ministry said.
This is the second version of the PEEIAR being released for public comment. The first report was posted last June and has since been updated with new information gathered over the past year.
Final comments to the ministry on this report are due on July 21, 2016.
Please submit comments to MtPolleyEnvironmental.Enquiries@gov.bc.ca with the subject line “Comments on second version of the PEEIAR”.
All information on the incident can be viewed on the ministry’s dedicated webpage.