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

Parents call for change to health laws after Oak Bay teen’s death

Accidental overdose has Elliot Eurchuk’s parents seeking change to B.C Infants Act

Tsawout hosts Saanich Peninsula community leaders at blanket ceremony

Reconciliation event meant to share the Indigenous exerience

WATCH:First responders score first, take inaugural Challenge Cup in Oak Bay

Ice hockey game raises funds for Cops for Cancer, encourages positive interaction with youth

Amazing Race Canada kicks off at Hatley Castle

Popular reality TV show will premiere later this year

LGBTQ advocates turn Victoria SOGI protest into dance party

Counter-protest outnumbers anti-SOGI activists on lawn of B.C. legislature

WATCH:First responders score first, take inaugural Challenge Cup in Oak Bay

Ice hockey game raises funds for Cops for Cancer, encourages positive interaction with youth

As Osoyoos Indian Band flourishes, so too does Okanagan’s wine tourism

Indigenous practices have driven growth of South Okanagan’s wine history and agricultural influence

Judith Guichon steps down as Lieutenant Governor of B.C.

Election decision didn’t make her best moments from the past six years

Vancouver to rake in $30 million in empty homes tax in first year

The tax is the first of its kind in Canada, and was intended to address the city’s near-zero vacancy rate

B.C.’s snowpack continues to increase, melting delayed

River Forecast Centre official says sudden melting further into the season could cause flooding

Another B.C. First Nation voices support for Kinder Morgan pipeline

Simpcw First Nation claims people living on one-third of pipeline route support the project

Scooter crash leaves Island man with critical injuries

RCMP said a truck was making a left-hand turn when it collided with the scooter travelling through the intersection

Prankster broadcasts fake nuclear threat in Winnipeg

The audio recording on Sunday warned of a nuclear attack against Canada and the United States

ICBC reform aims to slow rising car insurance costs

‘Pain and suffering’ payouts to be capped, major injury limit to double

Most Read