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.