5 abandoned mine sites near Yellowknife undergo environmental assessments – by Curtis Mandeville (CBC News North – October 04, 2016)


Two years after devolution, it’s still unclear who should be paying for the cleanup

Two years after devolution, the Government of the Northwest Territories is studying five abandoned mine sites around Yellowknife, but one local MLA says action on remediation is moving too slowly.

Environmental assessments are underway, or soon to begin, at five sites: the former Ptarmigan, Tom, Crestaurum, Tin and Burwash mines. Last month the territorial government announced that the Ptarmigan and Tom sites, in particular, would be fenced off to the public throughout September and October.

The intention of the assessments, according to the territorial government, is to figure out how much contamination there is in the soil, sediment, water and building materials of each mine site. It also wants to see if hydrocarbons and metals are migrating off site.

For Frame Lake MLA, Kevin O’Reilly, much of that information is already available, and he says both the territorial and federal governments need to be working together better to move the remediation projects forward.

“We know that contaminants are moving off the site and it’s well past the time for the governments to take some action and do something here,” says O’Reilly. The pace of remediation, post-devolution, has to do with uncertainty over responsibility for the sites.

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/five-abandoned-nwt-mine-sites-environmental-assessment-1.3789888

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