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Tailings Impoundment Areas

Bill Adamson

It is my understanding that [a proposition has been made] to add Tail Lake and the northwest arm of Second Portage Lake to the “Tailings Impoundment Areas,” Schedule II of the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations (MMER).

I thoroughly oppose and reject such a proposal !

We already have enough pollution disasters in our history.

1. Some 1.7 million tons of uranium tailings were dumped directly into the creeks and lakes of Port Radium, with disastrous results for the fish and the people of the region.
2. Some 6 million tonnes of uranium tailings were dumped into Minewater Lake, Marie Lake, Fookes Lake, as well as three other pits in the Beaverlodge area with devastating results.
3. Some 300 million tons of uranium mine tailings were placed in waste dumps from the Elliot Lake and Bancroft areas. Over the years there were ruptures in 30 tailings ponds, whereby the mine tailings killed the fish in 55 miles of Serpent River.
4. Now we have the JEB pit in northern Saskatchewan with over a million tonnes of radioactive waste, containing arsenic, uranium, radium, and thorium whose radioactive releases will last 112,000 years or 152,000 years.

It is unthinkable and very objectionable to propose poisoning Tail Lake and Second Portage Lake with mine tailings. As you know, gold mining involves large amount of arsenic, which is very toxic and poisonous.

You would not want such a poisonous cesspool in a lake near your backyard, why would you allow it for these two lakes in someone else’s territory?

The environmental assessments carried out by two consulting firms were pathetic To think that your Department would authorize such a charade is also pathetic!.

Why in the world would you allow an American company to pollute and destroy a Canadian lake, when such a pollution would not be allowed in the USA? I thought that Environment Canada was to protect our environment and the pristine waters of our lakes.

I see this as another racist move! It is permissable for white mining companies and white regulators to pollute the remote regions of the aboriginals in Port Radium and Serpent River, and the Inuit Peoples of Nunavut. You would not allow the poisoning of a lake near Toronto or Gatineau.

[If... this nefarious proposal is acted upon], I will do my best to see that such a move will be thoroughly publicized in the Globe and Mail.

Don’t do it !

See Also: 46 Scientists who Contributed to the 2003 Recommendations of the European Committee on Radiation Risk