Tags: mount polley | mine | waste | pond

Mount Polley Mine Waste Pond Bursts, Spewing Toxic Sludge

By    |   Tuesday, 05 Aug 2014 07:09 AM

Mount Polley Mine's waste pond was breached late Sunday night, sending 16 million cubic feet of toxic sludge into British Columbia's Quesnel and Cariboo River systems.

According to The Williams Lake Tribune, the Cariboo Regional District has issued a complete water-usage ban for the roughly 300 homes in the area, saying neither people nor livestock should bathe with, drink, or otherwise interact with the water. Boiling will not help. The ban will remain in place until water samples can be taken and verified as non-toxic.

"It’s an emergency situation. We haven’t yet declared a state of emergency, but the province and Interior health authorities and emergency services are working together to make an assessment," Al Richmond, chairman of the Cariboo Regional District, told The Vancouver Sun.

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On Monday, a helicopter survey of the affected areas revealed a small of the slurry dumped into Polley Lake, however the bulk of it dumped into the Hazeltine Creek near Quesnel Lake. The creek swelled from its normal 4 feet in width to nearly 150 feet wide as a result of the tailings pond overflow.

The Vancouver Sun reported that the dump was so forceful it uprooted trees as it crashed down the waterway.

"At this time, the debris stopped where it intersects with the Quesnel River and there has been no significant flow into Quesnel Lake," said Richmond. He also noted that the Likely Bridge seems to be holding so far.

Tanker trucks carrying large quantities of water are being prepared to deliver water to the homes in the area affected by the ban.

An information line at 250-398-5581 has been established for those seeking the most up-to-date information.



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Mount Polley Mine's waste pond was breached late Sunday night, sending 16 million cubic feet of toxic sludge into British Columbia's Quesnel and Cariboo River systems.
mount polley, mine, waste, pond
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2014-09-05
Tuesday, 05 Aug 2014 07:09 AM
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