Environmental audit urges feds to shore up monitoring of mining waste

Environment Canada says there is high compliance with the regulations on pollutants from metal mines

Canada’s environmental watchdog says Environment Canada is properly monitoring the dumping of mining waste into the country’s waterways, but is not inspecting potash, coal and oil sands mines as often as it should be.

In an audit report out today, Environment Commissioner Julie Gelfand says potash and coal mines and the oilsands should be subject to more frequent inspections, since they are not authorized to release waste products or effluent that may hurt fish or their habitats.

She also raises concerns about the lower overall number of mine inspections in Ontario, and says the department isn’t doing enough reporting about whether mines are in compliance with the rules.

And while Environment Canada says there is high compliance with the regulations that govern the release of pollutants from metal mines, the department was missing complete data for about one-third of the mines in the country.

READ MORE: B.C. extends mining tax credits to attract investment

Environment and Climate Change Canada and Fisheries and Oceans are together responsible for deciding if mine waste can be stored in specific waterways. Zinc, copper, nickel and diamond mines are allowed to release some harmful substances under certain conditions.

Gelfand appears satisfied that the department is monitoring the impact these substances are having on fish and using the data they collect to introduce stricter limits on how much effluent the mines are allowed to release.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port McNeill council tackles the issue of AirBnBs

Council wants a public hearing to identify options for short-term rentals in Port McNeill.

Port McNeill council roundup: Feb. 11 meeting

Various stories from Port McNeill council’s Feb. 11 meeting.

Forestry workers vote for new agreement, ending 8-month strike on Vancouver Island

Wage increases, higher premiums and contract language part of new agreement

REVIEW: Poetry helps Conshinz heal from brain trauma

The Book of 1000 Poems, Volumes 1-4, by Conshinz, a.k.a. Port Alice… Continue reading

Meet the new owner of the Scarlet Ibis Pub & Restaurant

Kevin Foley is originally from Regina, Saskatchewan.

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

BC Ferries sailings filling up Family Day Monday

More than 20 sailings added between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen for long weekend

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Most Read