One of Maple Ridge’s two stream stewardship groups is lending its voice to the chorus of criticism following the Aug. 5 tailings pond spill at Mount Polley Mine near Quesnel.
Alouette River Management Association says it’s “extremely shocked and dismayed at the massive environmental disaster unfolding.”
The group sent an open letter to the premier and three ministers saying the consequences for fish and wildlife look dire after 10 million cubic metres of tailing pond water burst a dam wall and poured into nearby creeks.
The group points out that the waterways connect with the Fraser River which is expecting 23 million sockeye this year, and with an estimated 2.3 million alone returning to the Quesnel Lake system.
The letter says the disaster didn’t have to happen.
Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett had been warned about the danger. The letter adds the public is losing its faith in the government in being able to protect the environment.
The group wants several things to happen such as: calling a public inquiry, reassessing decision making on location of tailing ponds and evaluating how dams are monitored and maintained.
ARMS executive-director Greta Borick-Cunningham, president and former Liberal MLA Ken Stewart and past ARMS president Geoff Clayton signed the letter.