Submission to BC Ministry of Environment re: Mount Polley Permit Application for Long Term Water Discharge into Quesnel Lake

MiningWatch Canada is very concerned about Mount Polley Mining Corporation’s (MPMC's) application for a long-term permit to discharge not-fully treated mine waste water into Quesnel Lake. We recommend that the BC Ministry of Environment (MOE):

  1. reject this permit application and require MPMC to propose alternative options to its long-term water management plan, including full treatment of mine effluent and possible discharge points into less sensitive waters;
  2. require a ‘dry closure’ to reduce risks and ensure long-term stability, as recommended by the Independent Expert Panel report on the 2014 Mount Polley dam breach and spill;
  3. strengthen current MPMC’s financial securities to eliminate long-term public liability for site closure, clean-up, maintenance, and perpetual care;
  4. obtain clear support and consent from all of the locally affected communities, First Nations, and organizations for a proposed long-term water management and closure plan—including proper remedies for the people that were, and still are, affected by the 2014 mine spill.

This submission focuses primarily on the rationale behind our Recommendation #1, and include the following content sections:

  • Over 38,000 tonnes of contaminants in the first 5 years
  • Failing to meet BC’s Water Quality Guidelines
  • Dilution is not an acceptable solution
  • Non-degradation standard
  • Outstanding waters
  • Local opposition and lack of consent
  • Conclusion