Environmental assessment still underway for tailings pond spill

Courtesy of Bob Sterne

COALMONT, BC — The BC Ministry of Environment is continuing its review of a tailings pond spill this August in the Similkameen Valley and has yet to determine if any fines to Coalmont Energy, the company responsible, are forthcoming.

The spill turned the Tulameen River black nearly two months ago and prompted the Ministry to conduct a site review at the Basin Coal Mine.

The provincial government said it would not take action against the energy company until an environmental report was submitted.

According to a release from Coalmont Energy Friday, the company it contracted to assess the spill submitted an environmental assessment on September 30th but the final report won’t be finished until December 6th.

Initially, the Ministry indicated the environmental report in its entirety was supposed to be completed by September 30th.

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Coalmont officials said a community information meeting will be held after the final report has been submitted to the Ministry.

“Representatives of Coalmont Energy Corp. and Triton Environmental Consultants will be in attendance to present the findings of final Environmental Impact Assessment and answer questions from the community and stakeholder groups” said Coalmont Energy Spokesperson, Ketih Meldrum.

That meeting is expected to take place sometime during the week of December 9th. The date and time will be finalized once the report is submitted.