We can be seduced…by powerful political groups that promise more wealth and lower taxes. Those with power can use clever, psychological tricks and play upon our weaknesses and brokenness in order to attract us to their way of thinking. We can be manipulated into illusion.”
― Jean Vanier, Finding Peace
My gosh, it’s the oldest story in the book of politics: Bad news released on Friday afternoon when people are tired of the work week and not paying attention – likely to forget over the weekend – and good news released on a Monday so the governing party can milk it for all the PR worth the entire week…
But admittedly, it always surprises me when they do it yet again. This time, with sediment results that show arsenic and selenium levels- among others- that are ‘potentially significant’. http://www.biv.com/article/20140829/BIV0114/140829914/mount-polley-sediment-samples-contain-potentially-significant
“…There were some exceedances. This is to be expected because these materials samples were and are believed to be the material that was spilled out of the tailings impoundment,” B.C. Ministry of Environment regional operations director Jennifer McGuire told reporters in an August 29 conference call.
“Copper and iron were significantly higher than the standards that we have here in B.C.”
Furthermore, the ministry said it discovered “low but potentially significant” levels of arsenic and selenium concentrations within the sediment samples.
The results were collected from inside the tailings impoundment on August 12, and from outside the tailings impoundment on August 12 and 15.
McGuire said these most recent results confirm the need for long-term monitoring throughout the Cariboo region.”
No kidding. In going to the government update website for the Mount Polley situation, http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/eemp/incidents/2014/mount-polley/, I found several updates, including one that went to an error 404 for a drinking water sample: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/eemp/incidents/2014/mount-polley/mount-polley/pdf/20140829/MemoQuesnelLakeWaterQualityAug16DW.pdf
Now, this isn’t the first time this has happened in a public sample, and it’s understandable that on occasion a typo might happen.. but it seems to have happened often with test results. I looked at the address bar and it shows two ‘ mountpolley’ portions between the forward slash bars. Clicking on the address link as shown gives you an error.
However, not unfamiliar with this kind of obfuscation, I removed one of the ‘mountpolley’ portion and did get to the proper link: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/eemp/incidents/2014/mount-polley/pdf/20140829/MemoQuesnelLakeWaterQualityAug16DW.pdf
Although the file date is the 29th, the report date is the 27th and show high amounts of aluminum, in fact as per the link above, ‘three magnitudes above the Health Canada drinking water guideline.’
The same error can be found with water quality samples for aquatic life here, as per the main site directory above ” http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/eemp/incidents/2014/mount-polley/mount-polley/pdf/20140829/MemoQuesnelLakeWaterQualityAug16AL.pdf ”
Again, error 404 due to ‘mountpolley’ being listed twice in the web address.
Remove one and you have this: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/eemp/incidents/2014/mount-polley/pdf/20140829/MemoQuesnelLakeWaterQualityAug16AL.pdf
Copper and aluminum were above the chronic and/or the acute guidelines( note it doesn’t differentiate between BC guidelines or Health Canada on this one) on all samples.
Getting down to the heart of the matter.
The money shot happens at this link. And note these are listed as “legal sediment quality samples” which for the record ,are different from just regular lab samples because they follow a parameter set out for evidence admissible to court.
Now, anyone who can read, can see that historical levels of contaminants in this area have been exceeded to some level, since testing began in 2010- which is apparently, supposed to make everyone feel good that current levels are not that much higher.
“Elevated levels of seven chemical elements have been found by B.C. government staff in the sediment near a mine tailings spill.
The Ministry of Environment says copper, iron, manganese, arsenic, silver, selenium and vanadium were found in concentrations that exceeded provincial standards during testing near the Mount Polley mine Aug. 12 and Aug. 15.
The early August failure of the mine’s tailings pond released millions of cubic metres of water and silt into local fish-bearing streams.
But the ministry says testing before the spill, at the end of May, also showed the seven chemical elements exceeded the same provincial guidelines.”
Is it just me, or did the provincial government just admit to knowing to not only testing the area prior to the failure, but also knowing that the levels of toxic elements exceeded the health guidelines?????
Which leads me to more questions…. did the good people of Likely know about this higher level? Were they advised this by government officials? Did this testing have anything to do with the alleged breaches revealed by a former employee?
The samples of both water and sediment in the impact zone clearly show the government has no idea of the long term impact, and in fact, the current health impact on local residents. Air quality tests were either not done, or not released. The plume in Quesnel Lake is moving, is fluid and will change dependent on wind, rain and other conditions altering dilutions.
And still, with all this info… our government, Imperial Metals and Mount Polley Mining Corporation, are not moving.
Not moving one bit to ensure the future that the people of this area deserve and have worked for.
*** Alexandra Morton has samples that need to be independently analyzed separately from government and is trying to raise the money needed to do that- it’s a very expensive venture, so she has set up a crowd-funding page strictly for this at the following link: http://www.gofundme.com/ds4rtk