Rivers Without Borders has been spotlighting the acid mine drainage problem at the proposed Tulsequah Chief mine site. This effort in turn helped spur BC government to finally admit that there is a problem and even call for remedial action. While this is an important step in the right direction, BC has unfortunately also downplayed the problem, suggesting that the ecological impact of the decades old discharge into the Taku watershed is minor. BC has based this assertion at least in part on a Tulsequah River water quality assessment carried out by Chieftain Metals, the company behind the Tulsequah Chief mine proposal.
Rivers Without Borders hired an independent aquatic scientist to review the Chieftain water quality assessment. Her report, which we made public on June 8, documents many problems, inconsistencies, and flaws with the company sponsored assessment and calls to question government claims regarding ecological impacts. The press release we put out, an RWB fact sheet summarizing the findings, and the independent scientist’s report are linked below.
Maintaining pressure on the Tulsequah pollution problem is crucial toward keeping the Taku watershed thriving. The acid mine drainage is a vivid reminder of why developing the Tulsequah Chief mine in one of North America’s premier wild salmon systems is a bad idea. That the problem persists also underscores the need for enhanced transboundary watershed stewardship and protections such as the International Joint Commission could bring about.