Protecting Water

Feature

Because lakes and rivers are fish habitat, they are protected by the Fisheries Act. This Act is Canada’s oldest environmental legislation and prohibits the release of “deleterious substances” into fish-bearing waters and the alteration or destruction of fish habitat. However, in 2002, Schedule 2 was added to the Metal Mining Effluent Regulation (Schedule 1 lists the regulation's "Authorized Officers"). Schedule 2 essentially allows for re-classifying any natural water body that gets listed on it as a “tailings impoundment area.” Once a lake or river gets listed, it is no longer considered a natural water body and no longer protected by the Fisheries Act. A mining company can use then it as a dumping ground for millions of tonnes of tailings and waste rock.

Latest News

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Today a large and diverse group of Canadians and Americans called on the British Columbia government to halt the permitting of wet tailings facilities for new and proposed mines in B.C. based on the Independent Expert Panel recommendations on the Mount Polley mine tailings disaster. Eighty-seven Alaska Native tribes, members of B.C. First Nations, businesses, prominent individuals, scientists, and conservation groups signed a letter to the B.C. government calling for a shift to newer and safer dry tailings storage technology.

Friday, February 6, 2015

News release: MiningWatch Canada calls on the Province of British Columbia, but also other provinces and the federal government, to heed the warnings of the recent independent expert review panel report and not to delay fully implementing its recommendations.

Monday, December 22, 2014

News release: The Colombian government agency defined the boundaries of 76% of the páramo - high altitude wetlands - in Santurbán, in the department of Santander. However, the ministry further announced that mining projects with titles and environmental licences could continue, putting the ecosystem in grave risk, given that it is a source of water for roughly 2 million people.