Letters to the Editor

Safety first at Mount Polley, and then restoration

Editor: Re: “Many questions about Mount Polley tailings pond disaster,” (The Times,  Aug. 11).

The B.C. government’s immediate priority is to continue working together with the Cariboo Regional District to address the breach at the Mount Polley tailings pond, to test local water to determine if it is safe for drinking and household use, and to ensure the safety and well-being of residents.

Once the initial response to the incident is over, government will shift its focus to overseeing any long-term remediation and restoration of the environment needed, which will include ensuring that long-term water quality monitoring is in place.

The cause of the breach is still unknown; however, the Ministry of Environment’s Conservation Officer Service is already leading the investigation, assisted by Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the RCMP. Investigators from the COS have been at the Mount Polley site since Aug. 4, conducting interviews and collecting evidence.

The COS is the primary natural resource law enforcement agency in B.C., and specializes in commercial, environmental and industrial investigations. Conservation officers are Special Provincial Constables under the Police Act with a wide range of powers associated with the designation.

The COS has full authority to handle investigations independently and forward recommendations for charges directly to provincial Crown counsel.

In addition, the Inspector of Mines and other government agencies are undertaking a comprehensive investigation to determine causes for the breach. This will take several months. Lessons learned will be applied to other mines in the province as appropriate.

 

Mary Polak,

Minister of Environment,

MLA, Langley

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Nelson skatepark effort ramps up fundraising campaign
 
A silent reading movement at LVR
 
VIDEO: Witnesses describe scene at Parliament Hill; Raw footage of Ottawa shootings
Hugs stomp slugs this week
 
Vernon Vipers double Merritt Centennials 4-2
 
Grand reopening for the thrift shop
Diverse group of panelists discuss potential pros and cons of LNG in Prince Rupert
 
ELECTION 2014: West Kelowna mayoral candidate wants to increase voter turnout
 
Sparwood Arena and Curling Rink receives major upgrade

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 23 edition online now. Browse the archives.