Further restrictions lifted in wake of last week’s Mt. Polley disaster

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Further restrictions lifted in wake of last week's Mt. Polley disaster

More encouraging results from water and fish samples taken from Mt. Polley following the mine tailings pond breach.

Environment Minister Mary Polak says the drinking water continues to meet government standards.

Most of the “Do not use water” restrictions have been lifted.

Doctor Trevor Corneil with Interior Health says fish are also safe to eat.

“I now deem all fish outside the revised ‘do not use order’ impact zone safe for human consumption. This includes fish from the Quesnel Lake, Quesnel River and the Fraser River.”

Daily water testing will continue.




  1. Great news!

    “Mount Polley dam breach not an environmental disaster: Mines Minister Bill Bennett
    B.C. Mines Minister Bill Bennett says the Mount Polley tailings dam collapse is not an environmental disaster, equating it to the “thousands” of avalanches that happen annually in B.C.
    Bennett, pointing to initial positive water readings, asserted his contention will be proven in the next several weeks.”

    Perhaps there is no need to require mines to install tailing ponds after all.

    Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Mount+Polley+breach+environmental+disaster+Mines+Minister+Bill+Bennett/10109949/story.html#ixzz3AEED10De

  2. Is it safe to come out from under the bed yet ? can the watermelon group take off their tinfoil helmets ?

    Perhaps before the panic button is whacked next time , people will allow some facts into the discussion before they start running around in circles !!

  3. Deregulation of the mining sector has delivered results-in spades. Unfortunately-bad results. Government has gotten out of the way and allowed the profit motive to override environmental responsibility-and others.

    The province claims that the Polley Mine tailings pond was designed, constructed, operated and maintained in accordance with strict provincial standards. British Columbians should wake up and worry. BTW is anyone checking up on the Brenda Mines tailings pond located on the Hwy 97C Connector?

    Since all the other tailing ponds in this province comply with the same standards, it is a not a matter of if but when another disaster occurs. To call this tailings pond-dam breach as an anomaly is putting the best face on an ugly situation.

    All this “good news” on water quality is just a way of detracting the public’s attention from the 5.5 million cubic metres of toxic sludge which is the real and long-term environmental problem. One has to be stupid or scientifically-challenged to not understand that the sludge is dammed in the first place so that it cannot poison the environment. If it’s that good, let’s offer it to Nestles for bottling.

    As I posted earlier, if a sudden-release of 15 million cubic metres of waste water and tailings is not harmful to the environment, why build tailings ponds in the first place… why not just release the waste water and tailings slowly? And no one will notice?

    And Prosperity (Taseko) wants to build a tailings pond upstream from Fish Lake? Prosperity is dead.

    The Babine and Lakewood sawmill explosions are also examples where deregulation may have been responsible in part.

    • It’s not toxic sludge is finely milled country rock.
      And if you ask a geologist they will tell you that the Polley deposit is alkaline so there is no acid generating problem. And the idiots reporting horrid pounds of toxic metals don’t understand they are tied up in rock forming minerals.
      This is turning into political BS.

      We should be far more concerned about the Lower Mainlands garbage and sewage disposal. Now that is toxic waste! And it’s all the more reason to question the qualifications of the people teaching our kids.

      • FYI @ Kelly. I have asked a geologist who is my son in law. He says sludge is the bigger problem as not all minerals are separated from the ore. These are often very toxic components of so-called waste rock.

        But assuming you are right, why are tailing ponds constructed in the first place.

        You know that all the toxicity from The Polley Mine will end up in the Fraser River which flows through the LM.um

        Now that’s a big leap to equate the Polley disaster to the qualifications of teachers.

        • Well then your son-in-law should know that it’s a porphyry copper deposit and as such is lower grade ore minerals dispersed in a large volume of alkaline intrusive rocks
          It’s an open pit deposit- when you remove the material and put it through the mill you end up with a lot of crushed material left over in a slurry. It’s stored in the tailing pond facility where it settles out. Much of the water is recycled, evaporates and some is released. Apparently they have trout as water quality monitors .

          I have been told by a mining engineer that BC environmental regs now stipulate that everything must stay behind the tailings pond.
          Previously coarser material was used in the earth barriers.

          The water is not toxic and sediments will have settled out long before it hits the Fraser.

          The disparaging remark about teachers was unfair. It was directed at what seems to be so many people having so little grasp of the sciences – particularly those in the media.

          • I accept your admission wrt your remarks about teachers.

            However there seem to be no material differences between your explanation and my son-in-law’s comments. Both analyses appear to reinforce the need for a structurally-competent tailing pond dam. That said, I’m not a geologist or a mining engineering.

            Both regard the necessity of holding back mine waste and process water in a tailings pond and releasing excess water slowly after it has been deemed benign.

            Brenda Mines closed mant years ago and work continues to reclaim the tailings pond. Accummulating water (probably due more to precipitation) is still being monitored, treated if necessary and released-eventually into Okanagan Lake. The slurry from the mining and concentrate process will be hopefully held back in a solidified form by the dam.

            I just happen to believe that a breach of a tailings-pond dam should not ever be taken lightly.

            If continued tests reveal that environmental damage was minimal, we collectively have dodged the bullet.

  4. This fiasco has highlighted a few things
    -how poorly informed the masses are in terms of science and technology
    -how the talking heads in the media don’t bother boning up on new information as it comes out and rehash misinformation
    and how various factions politicize the situation for their own benefit.

    • The fiasco has been highlighted by Minister Bennett’s lack of knowledge. Natural mudslides do not come with the minerals and chemicals associated with mine tailings. Nice try Billy. The public isn’t quite that stupid. Isn’t it time you went back to selling used cars? They say in your prime you could sell a car while chewing gum, smoking and talking… all at the same time.

  5. Apparently the public is going to be offered two varieties of sockeye. With or without cadmium and copper. When you place your order you must remember to say mineral or no mineral.