Engineers disciplined eight years after Mount Polley mine disaster

Click to play video: 'Mt. Polley mine reopens after tailings pond spill'
Mt. Polley mine reopens after tailings pond spill
Thu, Aug 6: The Mount Polley mine has partially reopened one year after a tailings pond collapse caused an environmental disaster but as Julia Foy reports, not all Cariboo residents are happy to see it operating again – Aug 6, 2015

Three engineers have been disciplined nearly eight years after British Columbia’s worst mining disaster.

The tailings dam at the Mount Polley copper and gold mine failed in August 2014, releasing more than 20 million cubic metres of mining wastewater into surrounding waterways in the Interior.

Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia, the regulatory and licensing body for the professions of engineering and geoscience in B.C., says in a statement is has concluded its disciplinary proceedings against three individuals who worked on the mine.

The regulator says the proceedings followed a years-long investigation that was one of the most complex it has undertaken.

Click to play video: 'New report says Mount Polley disaster highlights industry problems'
New report says Mount Polley disaster highlights industry problems

The regulator reviewed thousands of documents including contracts, technical reports and drawings, correspondence and daily site reports.

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Former engineers Todd Martin and Stephen Rice were ordered to pay $94,000 and $132,000, respectively, in fines and legal fees after the panel found both acted unprofessionally.

Laura Fidel, a junior engineer at the time of the catastrophe, was ordered to complete education courses and had her professional registration suspended for two months.

“This marks the final chapter in a long and difficult story for our province and our professions,” CEO Heidi Yang says in the statement.

“The conclusion of these cases, combined with resources we’ve developed to improve dam safety, will strengthen our professions and our province’s environmental safeguards.”

Editor’s note: This is a corrected story. A previous version incorrectly reported the amount of wastewater that had been released. 

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