A few of us who would like to see some development in our area and give a little hope to our younger generation who might like to live, work and play in the Cariboo just got back from Ottawa where we attempted to educate the decision makers on the benefits of the New Prosperity Mine.
I think our meetings were very productive and necessary.
Why I say that is the following.
As many know the Chamber commissioned the expertise of Dr. John Meech, an engineering professor from UBC to advise us and make sure we had unbiased information on the merits of the project.
After determining that Taseko had filed a judicial review on some of the findings and information the panel presented to government that were incorrect, I contacted Dr. Meech and asked him to review the information and give me a response with respect to the information or misinformation presented by Natural Resource Canada.
Here are his comments.
“I think a complaint needs to be made to the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia that Dr. Debarats prepared an engineering model of seepage rates from Tailings Storage Dams supposedly able to predict the direction and quantities of seepage flows and applied it incorrectly to the New Prosperity site.
“He claimed to have included a liner in his model. On closer study, it is apparent that his “liner” bears no resemblance to the liner design put forward to the panel by Taseko.
“This difference resulted in a calculated seepage rate 11 times that which the mine will achieve through its design and its on-going adaptive management program. This is either negligent or represents incompetency.
“This error resulted in the panel concluding that Fish Lake will be contaminated and the health of the fish significantly compromised. None of these conclusions are valid since Taseko’s design plan will protect the lake and in fact, the health of the fish will be enhanced.
“Taseko’s engineering consultants have designed many of these structures including Mt. Polley. Their design and installation methods are based on experience rather than the theoretical approach used by NRCan which does not represent what Taseko plans to build.
“My feeling is that someone at NRCan must step forward and admit they made a mistake that has tainted the scientific aspect of the environmental review. (confirmed by John Meech).”
So this is why we went and hopefully the right information will get to the decision makers. Also, no tax money was spent on this trip.