The Ministry of Environment has released its’ first progress report on the remediation of the August 7th Mt. Polley tailings pond breach.
Mary Polak, Minister of Environment says although Imperial Metals has already completed or initiated many components that the government has set forth, remediation of the area will take years.
“The company has made a great deal of progress to initiate an effective multi-phase remediation plan and government has accepted phase 1 activities of the company’s plans.”
“Make no mistake full remediation of the impacted area is going to be a matter of years not months. However, we’re now at a point where we can begin recovery of the area.”
Polak says the government will not shy away from taking action should the company not be in compliance.
“In an event where a company is not providing the work that needs to be done, we do have the legal authority to step in, conduct that work, and charge it back to the company.”
“In terms of recovery of costs, there are any number of ways that can occur. In extreme cases, that can take the form of court action.”
Mt. Polley Mining Corporation has been required to ensure that:
1.-There are no further unauthorized discharges into Hazeltine Creek
2.-The impact zone is stabilized to manage seasonal events
3. -Water quality entering Quesnel Lake and at the outer edge of the impact zone will meet provincial water quality guidelines
Steps to protect the area from additional environmental damage due to increased water flow from spring off are also part of the first phase which is expected to be completed in June of 2015.
The full progress report that outlines what actions have been completed to the Ministry of Environment’s satisfaction and what still needs to be completed over the short-term by MPMC can be found on the Ministry of Environment’s dedicated Mt. Polley webpage.