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Concerned Citizens of Quesnel Lake are being denied data

February 13, 2017

 

You may remember on January 12th 2017 we posted the blog- Are Concerned Citizens being denied data.

We contacted Douglas Hill,  Regional Operations Director- Mining and Environmental Protection on January 18th 2017, regarding the sudden change to monthly reporting from MPMC and why the new monthly reports don't contain any real data. We have no discharge rates, no Springer Pit levels and no discharge characteristics- in short nothing. As concerned citizens who are directly affected by the functions of the mine, we demanded to know why and have the information made freely available.

On January 23rd we received the following reply.

 

"Thanks for your letter sent by email outlining your concerns about reporting frequencies and public access to data from the Mount Polley Mine.

You outlined your concerns related to the reporting frequency required by Pollution Abatement Order 107461, and by Permit 11678. PAO 107461 requires reporting to agencies and stakeholders on the implementation of measures outlined in the August 2014 Action Plan. The reporting frequency was originally weekly, but the Director determined late last year that monthly reporting was sufficient given the status of work being done in connection with the Order.

In addition the Order requires quarterly reporting on the post-breach monitoring done in the Hazeltine Creek area. MPMC continues to post the monthly reports on their website to make the information available to stakeholders. Some of the information associated with mine discharge monitoring required under the Permit has not been included in the last Order report, however, this was not a part of the Order requirements. Separate from the Order, Permit 11678 requires weekly reporting while releasing treated effluent from the Springer Pit and site runoff from the Seepage Collection Water Management Systems to Hazeltine Creek. The information to be reported under the Permit relates to the authorised discharge and includes a summary of the volume of treated effluent discharged, an updated Springer Pit lake elevation and related observation well levels, water quality results for treated effluent and Springer Pit related wells, and a summarized analysis of the treated effluent continuous turbidity/TSS discharged. While MPMC has not included some of this information in the monthly Order updates, they have submitted them regularly via the ministry’s reporting mailbox. Requirements for sharing with stakeholder information reported by the Permit are set out in a communications plan submitted as a requirement of the Permit.The Pollution Abatement Order does not affect the reporting requirements for Permit 11678, and MPMC must comply with both the Permit and the Order requirements. Your comments regarding the reporting frequency and sharing of information about the discharge with the public by MPMC is noted, and will be considered in the pending amendment to Permit 11678. I am attaching the latest weekly report submitted as per the Permit for your information. You also requested information about the annual discharge plan, which is available on the ministry’s Mount Polley website: (http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/spills-environmental-emergencies/spill-incidents/past-spill-incidents/mt-polley (click on the “Key Information” link and then on “Environmental Management Act Permit”). The communications plan shows up there as well."

 

It appears that yet again we are being denied access to data.

 

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