Mount Polley Mine Tailing Dam Breach
|Location||Polley Lake, Hazeltine Creek and Quesnel Lake|
|Product/Quantity||Loss of about 17 million cubic meters of water and 8 million cubic meters of tailings/materials|
|Source||Tailings dam failure.|
|Time/Date of Incident||1:00 AM / August 4, 2014|
A tailings dam failure at the Mount Polley Mine occurred on August 4, 2014 resulting in the loss of about 17 million cubic meters of water and 8 million cubic meters of tailings/materials into Polley Lake, Hazeltine Creek and Quesnel Lake having significant impact. An emergency response was undertaken by the Province involving various agencies throughout August and into September of 2014. A Pollution Abatement Order under the Environmental Management Act was issued on August 5, 2014 and amended on May 27, 2015 to abate the discharge, undertake an environmental impact assessment of the breach and implement remediation activities.
A Letter of Understanding between the Province and Soda Creek Indian Band and Williams Lake Indian Band outlines a collaborative approach to jointly address all aspects of the tailings breach. The Ministry of Environment led the response for the environmental monitoring, impact assessment, mitigation, and remediation of the area impacted as a result of the Mount Polley Mine tailings breach. This work was undertaken with First Nations, local governments, provincial and federal agencies, and public representatives.