EDITORIAL – Let us be warned

Tailing pond breach could happen on Vancouver island

The recent Mount Polley Mining tailing pond breach in Likely, B.C. should serve as a warning to all of us on Vancouver Island, none more so than those in charge of granting mining licences.

While media and political parties point the finger of blame this way and that, the bigger question is; who will pay for the cleanup?

Very likely, the majority of the bill will be footed by taxpayers.

Sure, Imperial Metals, which owns Mount Polley Mining Corp., is apt to be slapped with a hefty fine – some reports are suggesting amounts up to $1 million – but that would barely begin to cover the costs of reclaiming the waters, should they be deemed critically contaminated.

There was a comparable tailings pond breach in the state of Tennessee in 2008 (Kingston Fossil Plant). More than six years later, restoration efforts continue. Some estimates have the total costs of that cleanup to be in excess of $1.2 billion U.S.

So what does all this mean to Vancouver Island? Could it happen here?

The answer, of course, is yes. It could happen anywhere there are tailing ponds; and, as a byproduct of mines, there are tailing ponds on Vancouver Island.

The requests for exploratory site testing by mine companies is an ongoing issue with the various Island governances, Comox Valley Regional District included. In fact, in June, the CVRD submitted a letter to the Ministry of Energy and Mines, expressing concern over a proposed site testing by a mining company in the Woodhus Creek/Oyster River area and requested that “no coal licence be issued” to the company in question.

Consider it a proactive approach.

Some economists were undoubtedly crying foul over the decision, upset at the number of potential jobs being lost by such a request.

But it’s a far cry more economically sound than the reactive approach being incorporated in regards to the disaster in Likely, B.C.

Sometimes foresight is 20:20.

–Black Press

 

Just Posted

Raccoons making themselves at home on Saanich property

Resident blames neighbour for attracting pests to area

Peace Walk fundraiser for hospice runs on Sunday

Take a walk, have a snack, and help donate to a local charity

City of Victoria joins national food waste reduction program

The City is partnering in the Love Food, Hate Waste Program

Thousands attend 31st TD Art Gallery Paint-In

Artists display their work along 20 blocks of Moss Street

Details scarce as union confirms probe underway involving Victoria care homes

Island Health, VicPD offer no comment on report of investigation into alleged sexual assaults

BC Games: Day 2 comes to an end

Hundreds of medals have been handed out at the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

Brush fire breaks out west of Port Alberni

Fire forces partial closure of Highway 4 heading to Ucluelet and Tofino

Accident on Vancouver Island after artillery gun rolls down hill and damages taxi

Witness says accident happend about 1 p.m. Saturday; RCMP investigating

B.C. mining company, involved in 2014 spill, ordered to pay lost wages

Mount Polley Mining Company must pay wages to 26 employees who were laid off without proper notice

Two significant wildfires burning in southeastern B.C.

More than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre as of Saturday afternoon

Volunteers provide the glue that keeps BC Games moving

The 2018 Cowichan Summer Games had more than 2,300 volunteers on hand across Vancouver Island

No Name brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says multiple illnesses reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario

Lodeiro scores twice to help Sounders beat Whitecaps 2-0

Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he converted a penalty kick

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

Most Read