Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mount Polley Disaster...Why Won't Imperial Fight Gravity?


The fine folks from the provincial government and Imperial Metals agree that they can't even begin to start cleaning up the toxic mess in Hazeltine creek until they decrease the level of Polley Lake by gradually draining their effluent water downhill into Quesnel Lake.

And that's a big problem because things are going very, very slowly.

Gordon Hoekstra in the VSun explains:

...The length of time it will take to lower the lake’s water level has raised concern because it will delay the cleanup of the potentially toxic material dumped into Hazeltine Creek and Quesnel Lake.

Both the company and the province have said the lake must be lowered before any work can be done in Hazeltine Creek or at its widened delta at Quesnel Lake. There is a risk that rains could send another rush of water down the scoured creek bed to the lake, a safety concern to anyone working below, the province and company have said.

“At the rate we are going, we won’t get any work done on Hazeltine Creek this year, and that’s unacceptable,” Likely resident Richard Holmes said. He said the company should be making a bigger effort to pump water into empty pits at the mine site.

“The efforts are just not good enough,” said Holmes, a consultant biologist who does work for the Soda Creek Indian Band...

But here's the thing.

There is a way that Imperial might be able to speed up the process.

Specifically, they could get to it and start pumping their effluent water back UPHILL into their own massive mine pits.

But they won't, as Mr. Hoekstra also explains in his VSun piece:

...In community meetings, Imperial Metals has said it is not practical to pump water up hill to the empty pits. Company officials were not available for an interview Thursday...

Interesting that, eh?

Which leaves one wondering if a hardcore pumping effort, which could help prevent further devastation before the autumn rains and the coho come, is 'not practical' because it would cost real money.

And, perhaps even more interestingly, it turns out that at least some of the smart boys on Bay Street are betting that such spending of 'real money' on the clean-up won't happen.

The following is a report from a report by Peter Kennedy in a very fine publication called 'Stockhouse News':

Investors in Imperial Metals Corp. (TSX: T.III, Stock Forum) will be keeping a close eye on Canadian oil patch billionaire Murray Edwards, as the beleaguered company moves to clean up a high profile tailings spill in British Columbia and keep a second B.C. mine on the development track...


...There has been speculation that the clean-up costs at Mount Polley – where millions of cubic metres of waste water and silt spilled into nearby river systems on August 4, 2012 – could be as high as $200 million.

But Edwards’ commitment to the company is an indication of his belief that the clean-up costs will be a small fraction of that amount, a financial analyst said...


And where are provincial ministers responsible, Mr. 'Avalanches Are Tailings Spills Too' and Ms. 'Don't Eat The Fish Livers', on the actual clean-up plan (or total lack thereof)?...



Anonymous said...

How about buy bootled water.and send the bill.Not

Anonymous said...

Prince George Free Press. Bennet said, Mount Polley catastrophic dam burst, may be left in place with no clean-up. And, I won a $20.00 bet on that one.

Harper and Christy Clark need to be forced to resign. Deregulating safety standards, environment standards. Permitting the mine barons, to operate with acute shortages of staff. Permitting foreign workers in mines and the oil and gas industry, is just plain stupid. The mine barons are just as greedy as, Harper's oil and gas barons.

There is a recall petition out, on Premier Clark. Imperial Metals, should be kicked out of BC. Harper should be number one, to get rid of first. The Mount Polley catastrophic dam burst is because of, pure unadulterated greed.

Bill said...

Just have to give you five stars for all your multi postings and related links re the "Mount Polley Avalanche Zone" goings on / non-goings on. Lots more info found here and in the comments than "our government and their friends" want to face. Still tons of digging to do as the culprits and corporates will continue to delay, minimize and spin this disaster away.

So far all actions continue to confirm just how toxic Christy and Company are. They have again shown they are more interested in their own self interest and that of their political family / corporate supporters than British Columbians.

Stewardship of our environment has as low a priority as does public education for these contemptible, insincere goofs. Incompetence is no excuse for their actions - they are too deliberate and nefarious. So far the govs. record of getting away with things and covering up has been "trillions" of times better than their competence as government.

Thankfully at least some MSM are questioning the mine/mind numbing spin versus reality, notably by some of our national press and US neighbours but - surprise the local hot shot stringers (esp. Baldrey and the holidaying ? Palmer) are still lying low and shying from the obvious.

Don F. said...

Ditto to what Bill said about keeping the flames burning brightly on this one.
They have gotten away with far too much.
This has to be kept alive.
I can't fathom that they all be allowed to walk away from this!!

Lew said...

Been washing the Alberta vacation dust off in the Oregon coast vacation surf and haven’t yet properly caught up on all of this, but a couple of things in Mr. Hoekstra’s piece niggle.

He says area residents, First Nations and environmental groups are concerned about the long-term effects of the tailings in Hazeltine Creek and Quesnel Lake. By exception that would seem to exclude all levels of government, Imperial Metals, and the general public from any concern. I’ll give him the first two, but want his proof of the last.

He says Ministry of Environment spokesman David Karn said in a written statement that
Imperial Metals reported to the province that the lake rose 1.7 metres above its July 31 pre-spill recorded height as a result of the spill. Why is the government relying on a mining company to inform us what our lake levels are at any given time, and why isn’t Mr. Hoekstra asking the government what its records show for the lake?

By the way, Alexandra Morton has more integrity, knowledge, backbone, and concern for the environment than the entire BC Liberal caucus combined. It’s interesting to see the fish-farm snipers following her inland.

Ray Blessin said...

This whole story is slipping slowly but surely down the memory hole.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

RossK said...

Thanks all.

And sorry to be so slow on the threads.

As you might have guessed...

My holidays are over!