Save Fish Lake – Time to Write Again!

Here is another call to action from the Wilderness Committee to share:

Hi Eldy,

Taseko Mines Ltd. has recently submitted the Environmental Impact Statement for their proposed New Prosperity Open Pit Mine, located right next to Fish Lake on the Chilcotin Plateau west of Williams Lake, BC.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has now invited public comment. This provides one more opportunity for you to write in and let them know exactly how you feel about this mine proposal.

It doesn’t matter if you have written to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency about this mine proposal before – we want you to write again. This is a new opportunity to comment on Taseko’s Environmental Impact Statement, and it is important that as many people as possible take the time to write!

Here are some of the places where we think Taseko’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) falls short…

First Nations Opposition – The Panel that looked at the original mine project back in 2010 observed that there was strong opposition to the proposed project from the Tsilhqot’in and Secwepemc Nations, as well as the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs. First Nations stated that while they were not opposed to mining in general, the location of the proposed mine project was not acceptable to them—these communities rely on a healthy, functioning environment as part of their daily lives and local economy, and that includes maintaining clean waterways and thriving fish populations. Even with the new adjustments in Taseko’s revised proposal, this widespread First Nations opposition to the project still exists.

South Chilcotin Grizzly Bears – The Panel reviewing the original Prosperity Mine proposal found that the South Chilcotin grizzly population—classified as threatened—would experience further adverse effects from the mine project, in combination with other past, present and reasonably foreseeable future projects. The potential impact on grizzly bears was a major factor in the federal government’s decision to reject the original proposal, but Taseko’s new EIS has added very little in terms of reducing the impact on the grizzly population. The company has proposed placing speed controls on mine roads in grizzly bear range, and has agreed to record wildlife collisions or other project-related incidents. But we say this isn’t enough.

Tailings Embankment Dam Failure – The Panel that considered the original mine proposal noted that for the operating life of the mine, in the event of a possible embankment failure, water from the mine’s tailings storage facility would flow into the open mine pit. But Taseko’s revised mine proposal (New Prosperity) has moved the tailings dam several kilometres up Fish Creek, directly upstream from Fish Lake. The tailings dam embankment will eventually grow to 115 metres tall—which is higher than the Hotel Vancouver! What happens if this dam fails? Taseko’s Environmental Impact Statement does not describe the impact on Fish Lake or on the downstream salmon habitat in the event of a tailings dam failure.

We say that Taseko Mines’ Environmental Impact Statement fails to adequately address these three vital issues—and others—and therefore Taseko’s New Prosperity Mine Project should not be allowed to proceed.

To submit a comment to the Environmental Assessment Agency, please click here and use the letter-writing tool on the Wilderness Committee website.

All comments must be received by November 11, 2012. So please spread the word and write your letter today!

Thank you for standing up for Fish Lake,

Joe Foy | National Campaign Director
Wilderness Committee

Today’s “stone” is Day 293  I am all over this, write wild, write often, write again, yes

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