Letters: Mount Polley history too easily ignored

Dear Editor,

Much has been written about the Mount Polley tailings pond breach in the past few weeks [Polley impact yet to be seen, Aug. 21 Our View, and Stewards actually administrators, Aug. 19 Odd Thoughts, Langley Advance].

However, I think it is important for those who write about the breach to make sure they get the history correct. For example, it has been suggested that the community and local First Nations raised alarms about the stability of the dam, but were ignored.

Yet, it was reported on Oct. 13, 2011, that Imperial Minerals had applied to safely discharge treated mine water from the tailings pond in November 2009; treated water that would not include man-made chemicals, only elements that occur naturally in the Quesnel Lake watershed.

Six public meetings were reportedly to demonstrate how safe the water discharge would be, but it was blocked by local First Nations and community members.

If the original application to discharge treated water had been approved, as recommended by the engineers and scientists, the water level in the tailings pond would have been reduced and the breach may never have happened.

Moreover, it is very clear now from water testing that the water released from the pond was at or close to safe human drinking standards.

These are important facts to keep in mind, and they show how important it is to get the history correct.

I don’t think we can point a finger at any one party in this unfortunate incident, but hopefully, we have all learned to let the scientists and engineers do their jobs and make the best possible and most scientifically informed recommendations and decisions that safeguard us all.

Michael Taylor, Coquitlam

Just Posted

Team BC’s having fun, ‘feeling good’ about back-to-back victories

A junior curling team, based out of Langley, has yet to lose a game in the national championships.

Throwback Thursday: Jan. 24, 2019

Help us caption a photo from Langley’s history!

Looking Back: City nixes pool pay

The history of our community, told in the files of the Langley Advance.

Suspects sought in Langley thefts, frauds

Police released surveillance photos from recent petty thefts.

Our View: Back to the weird old days in B.C. politics

The B.C. Legislature spending scandal is a blast from the past.

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

Teravainen’s 3 points lift Hurricanes to 5-2 win over Canucks

Vancouver heads into all-star break on losing note

B.C. hospital apologizes for veteran’s five-day hallway stay

Clinical director of Victoria General Hospital says case of retired veteran ‘definitely excessive’

Speaker Darryl Plecas says ‘justice’ needed for legislature employees

Plecas spoke to media at the opening of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Abbotsford Wednesday

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

‘Dr. Lipjob’ avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

47 men arrested by Vancouver police for allegedly seeking sex with teenage girls

Seven of those arrested have been charged as part of a two-month operation

Surrey farmers taking stock of revamped Canada Food Guide

Products that were once big at the table — like meat and dairy — have been put on the back-burner

Most Read