News

Mount Polley mine applies to extend wastewater discharge permit

Image of the pipe discharging wastewater from the Mount Polley mine into Quesnel Lake in B.C.

March 22, 2022

Imperial Metals has applied for an extension to its permit to continue discharging wastewater from the Mount Polley mine into Quesnel Lake. 

The permit was originally a temporary solution to give the company time to put in place proper waste treatment facilities following the catastrophic failure of the Mount Polley tailings dam in 2014, which resulted in over 25 million litres of toxic wastewater and mine tailings crashing into the Quesnel Lake watershed. 

“Mount Polley’s permit for mine waste discharge into the lake should never have been approved in the first place. The discharge of wastewater into the once pristine Quesnel Lake affects the fish, wildlife and community members who rely on the lake.”

— Christine McLean, coordinator of the Concerned Citizens of Quesnel Lake (CCQL)

“Mount Polley’s discharge permit clearly set out that the mine is to have alternative methods for discharging their waste into Quesnel Lake by December 31, 2022. Well, 2022 is here and they have done absolutely nothing to advance treatment of water on site. What they have done is wait until the final year to say they need more time,” said Christine McLean for CCQL in their recent statement.

Take Action

CCQL are raising the alarm and asking for support from the public. Please join us by signing the petition requesting the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change Strategy to not extend the discharge permit or writing to the ministry with your concerns: 

  • ​​Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy Mining Authorization: env.miningauthorizations@gov.bc.ca
  • CC: Honourable Josie Osborne Minister of Land, Water and Resource Stewardship: LWRS.Minister@gov.bc.ca 
  • CC: Mount Polley Mining Corporation (Imperial Metals): environmental@mountpolley.com

B.C.’s laws and regulations must be updated so that there isn’t another disaster as we saw with Mount Polley. Sign the petition to protect waters and communities from toxic mine waste.