Imperial Metals ordered to cleanup Mount Polley spill

Vancouver, BC, Canada / (CKNW AM) AM980

B.C.’s Ministry of Environment has ordered Imperial Metals to clean up a massive spill caused by a tailings pond breach at the Mount Polley mine in the Cariboo this week.

Jennifer McGuire says the Ministry of Environment has issued a pollution abatement order to Imperial Metals. The company is required to submit a preliminary environmental impact assessment today.

“Failure to comply with a pollution abatement order is a violation of the environmental management act. If a party is convicted, there is a fine, it could be upwards of $300,000 dollars and six months in jail for each infraction of a violation of a component of the order,” says McGuire.

A comprehensive assessment and action plan will also be due August 15.

Meanwhile, B.C.’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Bill Bennett, fielded questions during a conference call this afternoon, about if the government had any indication the tailings dam could be breached.

“I can confirm for you that based on the reports we have in the ministry files, the only concern we had about the tailings pond consisted of the event in May of 2014 where the water levels were too high. We don’t have any indication in our files that any inspector over the years since 1997 had a concern about the tailings dam.”

Bennett says preliminary water sample results will be revealed at a community meeting in the town of Likely around 3pm tomorrow.


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  1. I don’t think the company has the money to clean up their mess, they will probably declare bankruptcy and the tax payer of BC will have to foot the bill.
    And it will never be cleaned up properly anyways.

  2. What is that a hear baaaaaan baaaaaan ruuuuuub and then on August 13th, and 14th its baaaaannnnnk , baaaaaannnkkkkrrrrruuuuuuuuu and on August 15 it’s BANKRUPT

  3. We don’t have any indication in our files that any inspector over the years since 1997 had a concern about the tailings dam.” Would that would be because you don’t have any inspectors in the ministry anymore?

  4. Time to hold those at the top receiving huge compensation accountable. The CEO or Chairman of the Board should be immediately arrested an placed in jail until the cleanup is complete – no fines, no other discussions. Same goes for pipelines.

  5. Forget prosecution unless Environment Ministry staff are more capable than Worksafe in forwarding recommendations to crown. Besides, why did the ministry allow a preventable tailing pond dam breach to occur in the first place?

    Mines have been around for over a 100 years in BC without an environmental disaster. Now we have one.

    The same can be said for bitumen pipelines. No major spills so far…..Are we confident in our government’s ability to regulate the industries?