Media Release: Mount Polley Disaster: Fundraising Drive Launched for Independent Testing
For Immediate Release
August 18, 2014
Mount Polley Disaster: Fundraising Drive Launched for Independent Testing
Vancouver, BC (August 18, 2014) – Following news over the weekend that sediments entering Quesnel Lake from the Mt. Polley mine spill exceed safe contaminant levels for aquatic life, Watershed Watch Salmon Society launched a campaign today to bolster independent monitoring in the aftermath of the disaster.
“While government leaders have been busy downplaying the severity of this disaster, independent scientists and First Nations have been doing an excellent job collecting water, sediment, and fish samples from the moment news of the spill first broke,” said Aaron Hill of Watershed Watch. “They will need financial support to do all of the necessary lab tests on the samples they’ve collected and to carry on with their important work over the coming months so we can truly understand the long-term impacts to water and fish.”
Experts are saying that long-term monitoring will be required to determine the toxicity and chemical behaviour of the metal-laden sediments as they continue to move and settle out into Polley Lake, Quesnel Lake and along the Quesnel River.
“Quesnel Lake is unique and ill-suited to absorbing mine tailings and mitigation could be very difficult if not impossible,” said University of Montana Professor Jack Stanford, Director of the Flathead Lake Biological Station and a recognized expert on mining impacts to lakes and fish. “This needs to be widely watched, measured and evaluated, especially if the government does not get on it. We need to know if this mining company and the lack of government oversight has just destroyed one of the most unique lakes on the planet.”
Watershed Watch is a registered charity, making all donations tax-deductible. They are pledging to spend every dollar donated through this campaign directly on local monitoring efforts.
Donations can be made online here: http://tinyurl.com/
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Jack Stanford, Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana, 1-406-250-1006