The Ministry of Environment is now collecting samples regarding the tailings pond breach on a weekly, not daily basis.
Deborah Epps, provincial water quality section head with the Ministry of Environment, says it is no longer necessary for the Ministry to be collecting samples every day.
“The mining company (Mount Polley) is doing sampling; they have a monitoring program and it’s very intensive. The Ministry of Environment was out initially to get samples to understand what was going on in the intensity and looking at the results…Through our monitoring programs, we’ve taken on a more auditing role.”
Epps says the Ministry of Environment will take samples in parallel with Mount Polley to ensure results are within guidelines.
Epps adds it is the prerogative of residents if they choose to drink the water sourced from Quesnel Lake, that test results show is within drinking water guidelines.
“Steps have been taken; filtration systems have been put in, the sampling data that ‘s been posted on the website shows that it’s drinking water so there shouldn’t be any harm…and what they need to do is just follow the guidance from Interior Health; they’ve got protocols and standards out for what to for drinking the water and it’s up to individuals to decide whether to follow that or not.”
Epps says the Ministry of Environment will continue to take samples on a weekly basis, and post the results, as soon as they become available from the lab on the Ministry’s website.
She adds that a new sampling site will take place on a weekly basis at the Likely Bridge.
Further sample results are expected next week.