BC Penalizes Mt Polley Mine
Mount Polley Mine fined $9,000 January 17, 2021
Mount Polley Mine Corp (MPMC), owned and operated by Imperial Metals Corp, was assessed on February 24, 2020 with an Administrative Penalty of $9,000 by the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (MoE) for contravening certain terms of it’s April 7, 2017 permit PE11678.
As per the December 8, 2020 Final Determination letter from Leslie Payette, Operations Manager, Compliance, for the MoE: “After reviewing the information available to me, I have concluded that Mount Polley Mining Corporation has contravened Section 2.10 of Permit 11678 in respect of which an administrative penalty is being imposed pursuant to section 115 of the Environmental Management Act (EMA) and the Administrative Penalties Regulation.” Section 2.10 required certain studies and developments in alternative discharge strategies (passive treatment and distributed discharge) for when the present permit to discharge into Quesnel Lake expires December 31, 2022.
It should be noted that the penalty notice is not yet posted to the BC Compliance website, and is embarrassingly tiny penalty relative to what other mine operations have been assessed for seemingly much more minor offences Click Here
Reportedly MPMC has appealed the administrative penalty to the BC Environmental Appeal Board (EAB) but this has not yet been confirmed by the EAB. Note that MPMC had previously appealed the February 2, 2020 permit amendment (EAB-EMA-20-A003), apparently because they considered certain conditions to be too stringent, even though they had already been significantly loosened from the April 7, 2017 permit.
MPMC has been out of compliance numerous times of the April 7, 2017 permit conditions, and has applied for and been granted a number of permit amendments by MoE since, trying to stay in compliance by changing the permit, rather than by meeting permit conditions that are more protective of the environment. Note also that on July 16, 2020, another warning letter was sent to MPMC that contained a number of non-compliance issues, some of which were noted to have been fixed by permit amendment.
Also interesting to note that on April 6, 2019, Imperial Metals Corp was assessed a $14,800 Administrative Penalty in respect to non-compliance at the Red Chris Mine operation Click Here
Concerned Citizens of Quesnel Lake (ccql.ca)