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.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Comox’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from Highland Secondary students

Tinney Davidson has been waving at kids on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Island-born Snowbirds pilot enjoying homecoming in skies over Comox

Logan Reid once stood clinging onto the fence outside the Comox Air… Continue reading

Comox Valley Schools board chair addresses RCMP investigation into assault of student

Comox Valley Schools (School District 71) board of education chair, Janice Caton,… Continue reading

Tom Cochrane and Red Rider coming to Vancouver Island MusicFest

Executive producer Doug Cox has landed Canadian Music Hall of Famer Tom… Continue reading

Comox Valley RCMP seeking witnesses of attack on student in Courtenay

A Comox Valley mother said “it was way more than bullying” at… Continue reading

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

Shutterbugs submit their favourite Snowbirds pics

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are in Comox for their annual spring training… Continue reading

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Cumberland to consider declaring a climate state of emergency

The declaration will be discussed at the 2019 Strategic Priorities meeting in June

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

RCMP arrest B.C. man following threatening Vaisakhi Facebook post

Post made reference to pressure cooker bomb at massive Surrey parade

Most Read