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

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve issues cougar warning at Kennedy Lake

Cougar encounter reported between Tofino and Ucluelet.

Deadline looming for North Island College scholarship applications

Students have until April 24 to apply for a record number of… Continue reading

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select routes

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries to be sold on Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

Hupacasath First Nation re-elects entire council for new term

Steven Tatoosh takes helm for fifth term as chief, talks economic prosperity for future

Young Professionals of the Alberni Valley seek members, new partnerships

Next Alberni Connect event is Thursday, April 18

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

B.C. senior sentenced for sexually abusing special-needs granddaughter

73-year-old Cortes Island man will go to jail for three years

Howe Sound Queen sailing toward retirement

Vessel now up for auction ends regular runs between Crofton and Vesuvius at the beginning of June

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Most Read