Mount Polley Mine Communique #4

The First Nations Health Authority received the results of August 7th water quality samples collected at the shore of Polley Lake.  Water testing data was independently reviewed for physical parameters, total and dissolved metals.  Sample results indicate that levels for all metals, which are of health concern, meet Health Canada Drinking Water Guidelines.
Based on these test results Interior Health Authority and Ministry of Environment have approved Imperial Mines to start pumping surface water from Polley Lake through Hazeltine Creek and into Quesnel Lake.
The pumping of surface water from Polley Lake to Quesnel Lake is meant to reduce the risk of a possible breach of Polley Lake anticipated if hard rains arrive next week.
After discussions with Interior Health Authority the FNHA understands that the release of water from Polley Lake to Quesnel Lake is intended to lower the potential risk to human and environmental health in the short term. The goal of the plan is to stabilize Polley Lake and reduce the risk of additional tailings pond sediment reaching Quesnel Lake and beyond.
The FNHA is encouraged that water samples taken on Aug. 6, 2014, from six locations in Quesnel River and Quesnel Lake meet provincial and federal drinking water and BC Aquatic Life Guidelines.
FNHA staff, including Environmental Health is working with the various Nations to address health concerns. A sampling program is in development which will focus on salmon tissue sampling in the confluence areas of the Quesnel and Fraser River. Collection of salmon will be coordinated with Nation fisheries departments, and analysis coordinated through the FNHA Environmental Health Services contracted laboratory. A 2-3 day turnaround time is anticipated following the arrival to the lab.
FNHA will continue to receive and review new data and assess for public health risks.

Download this communique in PDF form here. (PDF 122 KB)

Ministry of Environment makes raw data available here:  

Additional information from Ministry of Environment can be located:  

For updates on the Mount Polley Mine event and FNHA public health response please visit: