The operator of the Mount Polley Mine can now discharge treated waste into local waterways.
The province has granted the operator a short-term application to discharge treated wastewater into Hazeltine Creek, which would then flow into Quesnel Lake.
The government says any discharged water must meet quality guidelines for “aquatic and public health.”
The approval comes after consultation with First Nations, municipalities and residents affected by last year’s spill.
That’s when 24 million cubic metres of mine silt and water broke from a tailings pond and gushed into local rivers and lakes.
Clean water had to be hauled in so people could take showers, and local touring companies took a hit as the environmental disaster made headlines for months.