BC won’t charge Imperial Metals for Mount Polley dam breach

Aerial view of Mount Polley tailings-dam breach, August 2014 (BIV)

No charges will be laid under British Columbia’s environmental laws in relation to Imperial Metals Corporation’s (TSX:III) Mount Polley tailings-dam breach August 4, 2014.

This Friday, August 4, marks the end of the three-year statute of limitations for charges relating to the disaster on a provincial level, and these charges are not possible without a completed provincial-federal investigation.

Chris Doyle, the deputy chief of the British Columbia Conservation Officer Service, confirmed to Business in Vancouver that such an investigation has not been completed and will not be completed by Friday, but “the investigation continues,” as Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Conservation Officer Service and Environment and Climate Change Canada are working together to further examine facts surrounding the disaster.

George Heyman, B.C.’s minister of environment and climate change strategy, reiterated in a statement a “complete investigation” remains an objective, and federal charges under the Fisheries Act remain on the cards.

“All of the information gathered during the course of this investigation will be considered by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada should charges be recommended,” he said.

“Potential charges under the federal fisheries act remain very much in play and, in fact, potential penalties are more significant.”

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