Photo Credit- Cariboo Regional District Emergency Operations Centre
Photo Credit- Cariboo Regional District Emergency Operations Centre

Likely, B.C.: The Cariboo Regional District has declared a State of Local Emergency as a result of the Mount Polley Tailings Pond Breach in order to access additional capacity that may be necessary to further protect the private property and government infrastructure in the town of Likely.

Brian Kynoch, the president of Imperial Metals has apologized to residents living downstream from a massive tailings pond breach at a gold and copper mine in the British Columbia Interior. Brian Kynoch told that the failure at the Mount Polley mine has been stabilized but the investigation is just beginning.

Despite assertions that the company had been warned of potential problems, Kynoch says the earthen dam that contained the slurry from the mining process had never before failed but he vowed the company will do what is necessary to “make it right.”

The breach released 10 million cubic metres of water and 4.5 million cubic metres of toxic silt into Polley Lake and Quesnel Lake.

A ban remains in place on all consumption or recreational use of the Quesnel and Cariboo river systems from the spill site to the Fraser River, several hundred kilometres away.

The Cariboo Regional District declared a state of local emergency early Wednesday. The move will allow the District to access additional capacity that may be needed to further protect the private property and government infrastructure in Likely.District spokesman Al Richmond said Tuesday that B.C. Environment crews have taken samples and expedited results from toxicity tests are expected by Thursday.

With inputs from The Canadian Press