4 Billion Gallons of Mining Waste Pour Into Pristine B.C. Waterways

August 7, 2014

First Nations, environmentalists and just about everyone else are aghast at the severity of the toxic spill from a tailings pond.

On August 4 the tailings pond of the gold and copper open-pit Polley Mine, operated by Imperial Metals Corp., breached and sent billions of gallons of metals-laden silt and water into waterways awaiting the return of the salmon.

The mess has only just begun to wreak its environmental havoc, with campgrounds evacuated, a local emergency declared and a fishing ban imposed, among other immediate effects. Long-term damage is not yet known, and Imperial officials say they have no idea why it happened.

But company president Brian Kynoch told CBC News that the tailings pond isn’t so bad and that he would even consider drinking it.

Imperial has been given a deadline for dealing with the situation, the Vancouver Sun reported in a story with extensive video as well.

The jarring footage below from flyovers would seem to belie that notion. The first one was posted by Global BCTV and the second, a half-hour long, is raw footage taken by the local government.

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