B.C. Government “Removes” 113 Documents from Mount Polley Disaster Panel Investigation Website
On Friday January 30, 2015, after four months of deliberation, including the review of almost a thousand documents, the BC government’s appointed expert panel released its limited report findings and recommendations concerning the Mount Polley mine tailings disaster. It is the first of three separate investigations on the tailings disaster, one of the largest-by-volume in world history.
Accompanying the report, the government released 734 of the 847 “background” documents that were provided to the panel for internal review. These selected 847 documents (some of which are duplicates) were sourced from the Mount Polley Mining Corporation, from the Corporation’s three engineering firms, Knight Piesold, BGC, and AMEC, from the BC Ministry of Mines, and from the BC Ministry of Environment, documents which span a 20-year period (1995-2014). Numerous other documents were not provided to the panel.
Oddly, the government “removed” 113 of the 847 documents from public disclosure on the dedicated Mt. Polley panel review website – including all document reference information – apparently because they are being used for the other two investigations. Fortunately, all of the missing 113 documents information is tabulated in one of the website exhibit documents (document MP00000), from which the BC Tap Water Alliance made a descriptive table list, and is included as Part 1 in a 10-page ‘Removed and Released Document Backgrounder.’
A number of other documents formerly withheld by the government following the August 4, 2014 disaster are now available on the same government website. These include the missing annual Tailings Storage Facility inspection reports from 1998 following, the missing 2006 Dam Safety Report by AMEC, and Annual Environmental and Reclamation reports (2001-2009). However, each of the 2001-2009 Annual Environmental and Reclamation reports are missing pages of information. These reports are also catalogued in Part 2 of the same Backgrounder document.
“We are entering the beginning phase of understanding the history and reasons behind the Mount Polley mining tragedy,” notes Will Koop, Coordinator of the B.C. Tap Water Alliance. “As part of achieving this phase, the government must insist that Imperial Metals Corporation (Mount Polley Mining Corporation) immediately release the full contents of all the Annual Environmental and Reclamation reports, which were required for public disclosure under two separate government permits granted in 1995 and 1997! The completed reports must be updated and posted on the Mount Polley panel’s website.”
Backgrounder – http://www.bctwa.org/MtPolley-Backgrounder-Feb1-2015.pdf