Nearly a year after 24 million cubic meters of toxic water poured from the Mount Polley Mine tailings pond, the government says the first phase of clean up is complete…. but there is more work to be done.
The progress report released by the Ministry of Environment today says work so far includes ensuring water entering Quesnel Lake meets standards.
Remediation will continue into next year, along with ongoing health risk assessments.
In the days following the disaster, residents in the area couldn’t drink the water – many wouldn’t even take baths or showers…. and none weren’t sure if their idyllic rural lives would ever return to normal.
Many tourism businesses that rely on the waterways were hit hard as visitors stayed away.
Earlier this month, BC’s mines minister gave Imperial Metals – the mine owner – a temporary operating permit to slowly ramp production back up — allowing hundreds of employees to finally return to work.