Monday, August 11, 2014

Mount Polley Disaster...They All Knew (Ch 3).


From GHoekstra's weekend piece in the VSun:

....(Imperial Metals vice-president of corporate affairs Steve) Robertson said Saturday there was no disagreement about the dam when (original engineers) Knight Piesold left the project (in 2011).

“I don’t think that’s anything out of the ordinary that they would make sure they establish (they) were only responsible for things up to this point — now it’s somebody else’s issue and provide lots of caveats and warnings in there,” said Robertson.


...Imperial Metals president Brian Kynoch has been adamant the company has followed their engineers’ advice.

Once Knight Piesold left the project, AMEC was hired to provide advice on raising the height of the dam to contain growing amounts of ground-up waste rock and water.

Robertson said the company followed both the advice of Knight Piesold and the new firm AMEC.

“We did monitor construction and operate properly,” said Robertson.

Mines Minister Bill Bennett said he also does not view the letter from Knight Piesold as unusual or that it was a warning....


Perhaps we should return, once again, to the actual press release that was attached to the actual letter from Knight Piesold so that we can read what they actually said to BOTH the company and the government in 2011:

...Since February 10, 2011, Knight Piésold Ltd. has not had any responsibility or knowledge of any aspects of the design, modifications or performance monitoring of the tailings storage facility at Mount Polley. The original engineering done by Knight Piésold Ltd. accommodated a significantly lower water volume than the tailings storage facility reportedly held at the time of the breach. Significant engineering and design changes were made subsequent to our involvement, such that the tailings storage facility can no longer be considered a Knight Piésold Ltd. design.

Upon completing all assignments as the Engineer of Record in 2010, Knight Piésold Ltd. wrote to Mount Polley Mining Corporation and to the Government of British Columbia's Chief Inspector of Mines and stated that "the embankments and the overall tailings impoundment are getting large and it is extremely important that they be monitored, constructed and operated properly to prevent problems in the future." (See attached letter dated February 10, 2011)...



It has now been a full week.

And it is now abundantly clear, as it has been since the beginning, that the government knew there was a problem with the pile of dirt that was supposed to keep that massively expanding toxic lake from spewing it's even more toxic crap into the Fraser River waterway since 2011.

Thus, if the local Lotuslandian proMedia does not now hound the leaders of said government to the end of the earth and demand answers regarding why they did not act to rectify the problem?

Well, those fine holders of all the 'established credibility' around here will be failing we, the people, of British Columbia.




Anonymous said...

Well. I think the mine Barons are just as greedy as Harper's oil and gas Barons. Perhaps railroad Barons too?

Deregulation of safety standards. Deregulation of environment standards. Gutting the Environment Ministry. Jason Kenny's, cheap foreign labor. All in the name of greed.

Harper and Christy Clark BC Liberals, wear this one. They should be forced to resign. Even though we know they will lie like hell to get away with this one too, as usual.

Anonymous said...

not only fundraising was done for BC liberals but money was also donated directly to libs and NDP.100 percent coverage over both sides.

North Van's Grumps said...

Why did knight Piesold bail out on Mount Polley in February of 2011 when they are quoted in a magazine in 2007 in regards to all of their projects that they go from concept to closure, beginning to end?

Canadian Institute of Mining Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) "Engineering Exchange" 2007 'Mining experts from concept to closure' Mount Polley and other projects. The article states that Knight Piesold pegged the end of Mount Polley to be in eight 2015!! Imperial Metals Corp was close to wrapping up the site, and walking away, when ..... the dam breached.

Knight Piésold is firmly committed to seeing projects through from beginning to end. Many of their clients are companies they have consulted for in the past. A large proportion of their contracts are long term, such as the Montana Tunnels Mine in Montana, where Knight Piésold started investigations in 1985. Twenty-three years later and they’re still there. In the mining industry, that’s a lifetime indeed.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if all these latest developments will find their way to the MSM. If they do, they will be spun carefully so as to cover the Gov from responsibility, typical of course .. and will certainly not be top story. I also wonder if the Fall sitting of the Leg will be cancelled. I cannot imagine why??? Just sayin' .. Doug

Don F. said...

It has been over a week now Ross, time enough for all of us to evaluate this , try to be open minded ,give benefit of doubt and draw conclusions based on evidence provided.
This was no accident. There were so many warnings from various experts and people on site to both the mine owners and government that it can't be denied that this was a case of premeditated, conscious neglect causing enormous violence on the environment and the life it contains and supports.
This should be considered a criminal act per
pitrated by both government and industry.
Our government has shown us without doubt where their priorities lie and that they are absolutely useless to us the citizens for any form of protection or caring.
It is more or less expected for industry to shy from truth and deny responsibility it is shocking however to see the people we believe have our interest at heart, our government, do the same.

The people of this province, it's environment, it's wildlife, all deserve much better and foremost we deserve respect and the truth. This government has failed us on ALL accounts!

e.a.f. said...

so what else is new? The only coverage, on t.v. that I've found of any use, is on CBC. No wonder Harper and his Cons want it gone.

the government knew, as per the letter from the first engineering firm, and they failed to act. Did no one expect this type of thing to happen in this country? The federal government isn't exactly known for their environmental standards, can anyone spell train wrecks and environmental disasters. Things have not gone well in Alberta for the environment.

The breaking of this dam, is not to be unexpected. it is simply business as usual in Canada. People in this province/country have other things on their minds and have consistently voted for governments that don't appear to have the environment at the top of their agenda. It is doubtful anything will change. So voters can live with it and in some cases, may die from it.

The leibeals are out of their league when it comes to dealing with this mess. The MSM isn't going to do much to inform the public. This type of thing will will continue with another disaster in another few years, and yet the voters of this province will continue to vote the lieberals into office.

I'm sure if some one did a poll, they would find voters would still return the lieberals/fed. cons to office.

Bill said...

The Liberals are really circling the wagons on this one as is their natural reflex. They will obfuscate, stall, deflect etc... till their MSM zombie-drones can come to the rescue to minimize and explain away this lastest major Liberal fail.

Suprise? Wild Bill B. seems more interested in defending mega $$$ party "play as you pay" funder Imperal Metals than addressing the knowns and the obvious. Bennett speaks more like he is a company director protecting shareholders than a Crown Minister protecting BCers and our environment.

If I really wanted to investigate this disaster I would for starters be doing a face to face with the tailings supervisor that quit in frustration before the breach - not dismiss him as an unhappy ex-employee! There is lots of very incriminating evidence all ready out as you have posted Ross.

Bill, Mary and Christy are obviously in no hurry to add 2 and 2. Rather they are hoping their "jornos" can spin and minimize the reality, maybe till the next screw up jumps to the front page. Ministers should resign but I would venture that as a worst case scenario the Liberals may have to drive their "debt free" family bus over some of their corporate sponsors/partners.

The Liberals will try and coverup this mess best they can. Maybe they can blame it all on the Fast Ferries?

Don F. said...

On CBC Power and Politics today at the 22minute mark CBC announced it has been informed the Mount Polley mine company has stated the don"t have the money to cover the cleanup! When questioned the Federal resource minister stated that if they don't have money for cleanup than they should not be in business, He then went on to state what a wonderful job he himself and his ministry does while avoiding any further questions about who will pay.
Bend over people here it comes!!

Pete's Viewpoint said...

Imagine in an alternative universe if the NDP were in power when all this went down. Just think about the blowback. Think. Take as long as you want.

Anonymous said...

One of the many things I don't understand is that we are now a week into this mess and the latest MOE update indicates the "breach" has still not been stopped? WTF? and the info suggests it will be another two weeks before in might be? Given all the hyperbole about all resources being committed to dealing with this, how can the spewing of this crap not have been stopped by now?
And the MOE website giving lots of info is fine, but I want to see not how many inspections were done, but THE ACTUAL REPORTS... too much spin and very imprecise language being used (water quality at "historical" levels, sorry, our testing can't measure that level of cadmium/zinc/etc, maybe later...)- the devil is in the details and the Lieberals are just giving us their version of the Coles Notes...nothing to see here, keep moving... We need to get independent sampling and analysis happening - NDP, Suzuki, Greenpeace, Environmental Law, anybody??? How do we break through this government's control of the message on this disaster. Somebody needs to step up before the GCPE (the new PAB) spin machine gets into full "black is white" mode and tells us this disaster is actually good for us because it is "raising environmental awareness" or some such BS. God damn.

Warren White

North Van's Grumps said...

January 24, 2011
Imperial Metals Proud to be British Columbia's Top Mineral Explorer in 2010

"We are proud to be a BC based company, and are proud that the majority of our exploration work is in this province," said Imperial President Brian Kynoch. "We are convinced BC is a place where we can find and build world class mines."

To make things worse for Imperial Metals there was the announcement the day before the Mount Polley Tailing Pond breach that shut down its Huckleberry mine for four months due to a broken tooth.

Not to worry though because .... "Huckleberry maintains insurance, including business interruption insurance, and will make a claim thereunder, although there can be no assurance that its insurance provider will pay on such claim." DUH

Anonymous said...

Bullshit Bill now compares the preventable disaster at Mount Polley to "the thousands of avalanches that occur in BC a year" My god is this what a $500,000 donation gets you with this gang of crooks running BC these days? I predict in the fall when the legislator sits and questions are asked about the disaster the answer will be "CANT COMMENT AS THE CONSERVATION MINISTRY IS INVESTIGATING" The Liars oops I mean the Liberals famous line!

RossK said...

Thanks everyone!