Mount Polley mine tailings breach gets independent review

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The B.C. government has ordered an independent engineering investigation and inquiry into the failure of a tailings pond dam at Imperial Metal's Mount Polley mine.

A three-member panel, appointed with the support of the Soda Creek Indian Band and Williams Lake Indian Band, will submit its final report by January 31, 2015, to the province and the First Nations.

The panel members are Norbert Morgenstern, an advisor to consulting engineers; Steven Vick, a Colorado-based geotechnical engineer; and Dirk Van Zyl, a professor with UBC's Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering.

"We have a responsibility, as the jurisdiction where this failure took place, to find out exactly why it happened, ensure it never happens again and take a leadership role internationally in learning from this serious incident," Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett said in a news release.

According to the release, the panel will look at "geotechnical standards, design of the dam, maintenance, regulations, inspections regimes and other matters the panel deems appropriate". Section 8 of the Ministry of Energy and Mines Act "provides the panel with the ability to compel evidence and authorizes the Minister to require the company to cover costs of the inquiry".

The province has also ordered dam safety inspections—and third-party reviews of those inspections—for every tailings pond at a permitted mine by December 1.

"Under the Health, Safety and Reclamation Code for Mines in British Columbia, the deadline for annual Dam Safety Inspections would have been March 31, 2015, and would not have required an independent third-party review. The order accelerates the deadline and establishes the requirement for an independent review," the release states.

The release notes B.C. is home to 98 permitted tailings facilities at 60 operating and closed metal and coal mines.

Comments (9) Add New Comment
Mouse Chaser
Re:Imperial Metal's Mount Polley mine { Review }

Unlike What Christy Clark Said On The News When This Disaster Happened That The Taxpayers Are On The Hook For This Cleanup,{ NOT THE MINE } In My Opinion This Should Be Up To The Owner or Owner's { NOT THE TAXPAYER'S }Of This Mine For This Cleanup, Since There Were Warnings About This Disaster Happening And These Warnings Were Ignored.
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Carson
Christy lips were moving so you could tell she is lying
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Lebo
Christy Clark never said that you lunatic.
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Crickets
Not surprised that this story didn't get more comments. I'm not a Liberal fan but I wasn't expecting them to offer an independent review AND with the approval of two First Nations bands. I'm guessing the far left must be fuming.
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Dan
Christy who?
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Black Heart
The clean-up begins....when?
After Polley Lake is drained to a safe level and the tailings pond breach is sealed?
Any idea on when that will be?

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nyuk nyuk
last time Christy's lips moved was probably about 14 years ago.
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Dano
Christy in the Dark needs to step down. She is as useless as an elevator in an outhouse. Typically she runs for cover when when disaster strikes. She is waiting for some miracle to happen so that she can jump in front of the camera with her insincere smile and sing her favourite song… Doe, Ray ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME….. What a disgrace!

Bill Bent-Over needs to step down. He is too dangerous to this province. Obviously he was NOT doing his job by enforcing the rules. Our salmon population may NEVER recover because of HIS actions and blatant regard for the environment. The environment in this area will be a moon-scape for 100's of years to come.

They should both be charged with environmental crimes along with the mining company executives.
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realwickedone
The clean up effort is pathetic!!!!!! people doing it are making it a MAKE WORK PROJECT!!!!!!! if they dont get it cleaned up by mid to end of october the snow will start to fly!!!!!! then spring run-off comes and everything they have done so far will be for nothing and they will have to start all OVER AGAIN!!!!! and re clean what they have already done!!!!!
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