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The survival of Quesnel Lake will no longer be guaranteed for the residents of British Columbia. The salmon populations that depend on the lakes "pristine" environment are no longer guaranteed. The Grizzlies arrive on Quesnel Lake in mid-August near the Horsefly River estuary waiting for the salmons return, they are no longer guaranteed!

The name of this department suggests that the BC Government is taking care of the most revered and one of BC greatest asset, the natural environment! What is the BC Government’s strategy for the environment when allowing a Gold and Copper mine to discharge their mine waste into the once pristine waters of Quesnel Lake!

On August 4, 2014, the Mt Polley Mine tailings dam burst its banks and dumped over 25,000,000 cubic meters of tailings and wastewater into Hazeltine Creek and Quesnel Lake. The BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (BCMECCS) then issued a permit to the mine to continue to dump their wastewater into the Lake via pipeline to be diluted with Quesnel Lake water. The permit authorized an interim discharge until December 31,2022. Interim meaning temporary, these pipes may never come out of the Lake and this wastewater will be pumping into the Lake for generations to come if we don’t stop it!

Quesnel Lake is a glacial lake or fjord in British Columbia, and is the major tributary of the Fraser River and one of the largest BC Salmon habitats on the West Coast. With a maximum depth of 511 m (1,677 ft), it is claimed to be the deepest fjord lake in the world, it is the deepest lake in BC, and the third-deepest lake in North America.

Quesnel Lake was once described as “Pristine”, and can no longer be, because of the flood of toxic waste that emptied into the Lake in 2014, the tailings still sit at the bottom of the west arm of the Lake. The Government and the Mine and their professionals assured the residents that after extensive “modeling” the tailings at the bottom of the lake will NOT resuspend and eventually affect the ecosystem of the Lake. New research published recently by UBC, UNBC, the Institute of Ocean Sciences and the Quesnel River Research Centre (QRRC) is showing otherwise CLICK HERE for the full report

This research is 8 years of data taken at the same time, taken by the same people, taken in the same location! What grounds does the Ministry have to ignore this research? The following documents were submitted for consideration in opposition of an extension of the permit to continue to pump waste into Quesnel Lake. The Ministries response was “…These documents were primarily focused on studies concerned with the breach event and not on matters directly related to the application at hand…

The BC Government has just approved another 3 years of dumping mine waste water into Quesnel Lake via pipeline!

The discharge pipes in Quesnel Lake are installed directly above the tailings in the lake CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO

The Granger Paper – "Initial Distribution and Interannual Decrease of Suspended Sediment in a Two-basin Lake Following a Massive Mine Tailings Spill: Quesnel Lake, BC, Canada. CLICK HERE FOR PAPER

The Pyle Paper – "Invertebrate Metal Accumulation and Toxicity from Sediments Affected by the Mount Polley Mine Disaster." [2]. CLICK HERE FOR PAPER

Update on Activities Funded by Environment Canada (UNBC-prepared document). An unpublished summary document provided in advance of the Public Meeting at the Likely Community Centre. EDF Research Team Report. 22 March 2022. Email for the full report

This new UBC, UNBC & QRRC research shows that the tailings are resuspending into the water column and affecting the ecosystem in the Lake. Mt Polley assured us, the residents, that the tailings in the bottom of the lake would not resuspend.

The BC Government implements a standard for measuring Copper; NPM (Numeric Performance Metric) which was appealed by the Mine and upheld by the EAB. One thinks that the Lake has won a victory however, the Government then allows an "annual rolling averaging" for copper clause in the permit. Annual rolling averaging is not a standard practice, the reference given is a 28 day rolling average.

How will they manage the high copper levels into the ecosystem during the most productive times in the lake. How can they guarantee that the fish in the lake are NOT going to be adversely affected for future generations. Another 3 years of mine waste discharge on top of 7years (2015) in addition to the toxic tailings deposited into the lake when we now have research showing adverse effects are accumulating in the Lake. Why would the Ministry allow this, as well we all know this discharge is not a temporary solution. Mt Polley Mine has made this the permanent solution to their pollution.

The Government held one public meeting on March 28, 2022, in Likely BC, a time of year when there are not 50% of the lake residents in the area. During the consultation period the area Residents showed in vast numbers that they do not want the continued polluting of Quesnel Lake. Thirty-one public comments on the Quesnel Lake Interim Discharge Extension were submitted to ENV. An online petition which opposed the Quesnel Lake interim discharge extension was submitted to ENV, which included 4,481 signatures and 141 comments from e-signatories.

The Governments approval of the Mt Polley Copper and Gold Mine’s wastewater discharge permit #11678 via pipeline into the once “Pristine” water of Quesnel Lake is absurd. The fact that the BC Government disregards the authentic unbiased research from 2 universities within BC; UBC and UNBC about the effects of the tailings pollution on Quesnel Lake is absurd.

Mt Polleys permit for mine waste discharge into Quesnel Lake should never have been approved in the first place!

How You can Help!

  • Join the effort to Save Quesnel Lake write to the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change email; tell them STOP THE MINE WASTE DISCHARGE INTO QUESNEL LAKE

  • Donate to our Legal Appeal to end mine waste into Quesnel Lake scheduled for May 15, 2023 GOFUNDME HERE


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