The Ministry of Environment and Interior Health Authority have released their findings into sediments found in the water ways affected by the Mount Polley tailings pond breach.
Minister Mary Polack said they feel confident humans are no longer in danger; however, It may pose adverse affects on aquatic life and it exceeds BC guidelines for sediments and contaminated sites for regulations standards for copper and Iron.”
Polack adds the area is considered contaminated under provincial regulations and the company responsible for the spill– Imperal Metals– must submit a plan detailing how it will address the situation. Imperial Metals must assess the areas affected by the spill before determining what, if any, cleanup approach can be used.
Despite the possible threat to Aquatic life, Dr. Andrew Larder with the Interior Health Authority said they are pleased with what they found. “If we had soil with the type of results that were generated from these samples, it would be fit to use for agriculture that was destined for human consumption, and it would be safe for areas where recreation would take place. So, we’re very pleased with that.”
The Mount Polley gold and copper mine tailings dam failed last week, sending millions of cubic metres of water and silt into lakes and rivers.
Hundreds of people were ordered not to drink or bathe in the water following the breach.