It’s been one month since the Mount Polley tailings pond disaster

Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver's News. Vancouver's Talk
It's been one month since the Mount Polley tailings pond disaster

A month after millions of cubic meters of watery sludge gushed out of the Mount Polley tailings pond, residents living nearby are getting on with their lives.

Skeed Borkowski who owns a lodge and a fishing business on the lake says things are a “new normal.”

He says visitors are starting to return, but you can’t escape evidence of the spill, like the piles of debris along the lake.

“It’s just really weird looking stuff. All these piles – debris piles – all the limbs and short pieces of trees or whatever there’s no bark on anything.”

Borkowski says he still won’t drink the water or let his guests drink it, even though he’s seen the tests. He’s even been out on the water with the testers, he says he is just not sure yet.

And, he says, he won’t take people fishing on Quesnel Lake.

Al Richmond with the Cariboo Regional District says what people around Mount Polley need right now is support.

“It’s a great place. There’s some great rooms to be had in Likely and surrounding country and we encourage you to come up. It’s a great place to be. It’s just an unfortunate incident and we’ll survive this one as well but we certainly could use community support, British Columbians support to come and visit us”

Still, Richmond says the local state of emergency order will stay in place until the plug at the base of Mount Polley is declared stable — hopefully next week.

He’s meeting again with the government and mine owner, Imperial Metals, next week.

An investigation by three engineers into what caused the tailings pond failure is expected to deliver results in December.


  1. Still no dead fish?

    How can we have any friggin headlines if there aren’t even any dead fish?
    I thought this was supposed to be a “disaster” (that was the key word for the first 2-3 weeks) and now all we have is logs on the shoreline?
    What a disappointment for all those Volvo drivers.

  2. REALLY??? How is this possible? Why is Imperial not out there cleaning up the sediment? They haven even started cleaning up the shore of the debris? WHY NOT? Where is the Province? Why aren’t they out cleaning up? I thought Cristy said they wouldn’t be “going easy” on Imperial? Why are the residents not protesting at their head office, or at least the Min.mines, Min.env or the Premier? I don’t understand…..


    • You make very valid points. Canadians should be in the faces of both government and industry. As it is we’re not considered a threat and they continue to do as they please. A government by big business. A government for big business.

  3. Mount Polley spill bigger than thought, Imperial Metals says – September 4, 2014

    VANCOUVER — Imperial Metals’ estimate of the size of the spill from its Mount Polley mine-tailings dam collapse is nearly 70 per cent greater than the initial estimate.

    The B.C. government has estimated that 10 million cubic metres of water and 4.5 million cubic metres of finely ground rock containing potentially toxic metals was released by the collapse of the dam on Aug. 4.

    But Imperial Metals has estimated the size of the spill at 10.6 million cubic metres of water, 7.3 million cubic metres of tailings and 6.5 million cubic metres of “interstitial” water. That’s enough water and material to fill nearly 9,800 Olympic-size swimming pools.