Saturday, August 23, 2014

Mount Polley Disaster...Fingers Crossed.


As we noted previously, Maclean's was one of the first major media outlets to start running with the 'Maybe we should just leave all the sludge alone' spin-cycle meme.

But now?

Well, now they're having second thoughts, kinda/sorta.

Here are a couple of chunks from the lede of Adrian Lee's follow-up piece posted online yesterday:

...Two weeks ago, Dr. Carl Walters—a professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia’s fisheries school who has studied sockeye salmon, the most significant species in the run, for four decades—told Maclean’s that he was confident that the leak would not affect the salmon run, saying that the waste silicates would sink to the bottom or be carried out of the system quickly.

However, Walters is no longer so sure. That’s in the wake of recent conversations with scientists in the field who suggest an interflow in the Quesnel waterways may be in play.

“At least some of that water sank down below the warm surface layer of the lake—the materials suspended in it made it heavier than the surface water—but then rode on top of the more dense cold water,” said Walters in an email exchange. “The interflow is kind of like a layer cake: the western part of the lake now has a layer of warm clean water, on top of a layer of polluted water, and below that is a layer of cleaner deep water.”...


What to do.

Well, you know...

...(A)t this point all we can do is to keep our fingers crossed that the polluted layer will be diluted enough by the time the main body of fish arrives so as not to be a major problem for them.”...

Fingers crossed?


This is the expert way to handle a toxic mine tailing spill the likes of which we've never seen before in this province?

And for those trollophantic folks out there that want to make this a derisive 'loony-left' issue ask yourself the following...Why do have tailing ponds in the first place?...I mean, if everything's just peachy why don't we just flush all that mining effluent into our waterways right off the hop?



e.a.f. said...

loved your last question! there is only one answer I can come up with> the stuff is poison and needs to be kept out of the general environment. So if it was dangerous then, why is it "safe" now.

Unknown said...

This brings up the old saying, "The solution to pollution is dilution."

Here is an interesting article,

RossK said...


Maybe because, perhaps, our political narrative has become a cut-rate, crony-capitalist rip-off of that infamous plot line from 'Marathon Man'...

"...Is It Safe?"


RossK said...

Thanks astrom47--


Joel Connelly of the non-Lotuslandian Seattle P-I wrote about that, and how well it is working in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, awhile back...

...Mr. Floaty!


Justus Havelaar said...

There's a mine at the head of Buttle Lake in Strathcona Park on Vancouver Island. For years, after it opened in 1967, it had permission to drop its tailings into the lake, which in addition to being part of a hydro reservoir is Campbell River's municipal watershed.
For years this seemed a relatively benign solution; promoters of the mine said there was and would be no effect on the water.
And then testing started to show an alarming increase in heavy metals in both our water supply and the fish that swim in it.
That was when the mine built a proper tailings pond and system. The problem began to diminish gradually until nowadays we don't think much about it any longer.
Want to bet that's what the people living downstream of the Mount Polley Mine tailing pond disaster are looking at in their future unless the tailings are recovered and cleaned up?