Reader concerned about ‘saving’ Fish Lake after hearings

Tailing storage facility seepage and treatment appear to be centre of debate

To the editor:

The Environmental Review Hearings for the proposed mine at Fish Lake have concluded, and after following the sessions either in person or on line, I realize much of it was a repeat of the last review in 2010.

The difference this go-around is that the risks, both to the environment and to the taxpayer, appear even higher.

The new plan by Taseko Mines to “save” Fish Lake brought forth serious concerns from not only independent consultants, but those representing federal and provincial ministries.

The British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines concluded in their submission that “Despite [Taseko’s] modifications to the project, MEM believes that the project presents significant environmental risks due to the uncertain ability to limit and collect Tailing Storage Facility seepage and to effectively and economically treat water to maintain water quality in Fish Lake and its tributaries.”

Repeated again and again were the potential for adverse effects, inadequate modelling,

insufficient information and a lack of data.

We now know of the risks of tailings seepage ultimately reaching the Taseko and Chilco rivers and having the potential to adversely affect 25 per cent of the Fraser River sockeye salmon run.

This would present severe economic losses to the communities downstream, coastal fishing communities, and the province of B.C., in addition to the loss of the salmon

themselves.

After having attended the hearings, it is obvious to me the Tsilhqot’in are unified in their opposition to the proposed mine. Without coming to agreement with First Nations, which other companies have learned is essential for balance of a proposal, the future does indeed look bleak for the region.

Steve Monk

108 Mile Ranch

100 Mile House Free Press