Salmo tailing pond repairs total more than $800,000

The bulk of the emergency funds were spent on reconstruction of the failed part of the dam and monitoring costs

More than $800,000 was spent on emergency work to stabilize the tailing pond at the HB Mine site near Salmo last month.

The site was under a state of emergency from July 3 to 25, after heavy rains caused  a sinkhole to form on the underwater wall of the earthen dam, causing some sloughing and seepage along the slope. High capacity pumps were brought in to reduce the water level behind the dam while repair wok got underway.

Regional District of Central Kootenay, owners the HB Mine property, co-ordinated the emergency response, but the bill will be covered by the province.

Jim Gustafson, RDCK chief administrative officer, said the same is true for all the environmental disasters that resulted in states of emergency this summer.

“Whether it’s the minor slide in Thrums, the flooding around Kootenay Lake, the massive landslide in Johnson’s Landing — it all follows the same process,” he explained. “Once a state of emergency is declared, we plan the mitigation in conjunction with the province … and they approve what sounds reasonable.”

At the HB Mine site, the bulk of the emergency funds were spent on reconstruction of the failed part of the dam, as well as paying someone to monitor the dam 24/7 for three weeks, and to keep two flaggers on standby near the highway below, so they could immediately stop traffic if the structure did fail.

With the state of emergency lifted, the burden of paying for ongoing work at the dam has shifted back to the RDCK. Gustafson said there is still periodic pumping and monitoring needed at the site. As well, he expects consultants will be needed to help the RDCK plan for the future of the site, which may include the decommissioning of the dam.

“The next phase is to do an assessment of the site and make a determination of how to manage area behind the dam, with or without water and how to manage tailings and all other impacts associated with that site,” he said.

The HB mine property was purchased by the regional district as part of its central landfill area in 1998

Just Posted

Police investigating man’s death in Winlaw

Foul play not established, but major crimes unit is investigating

Laura Sacks wins Suzy Hamilton Legacy Award

Sacks is the second recipient of the award supporting women environmental activists

Tickets sales launched for Elephant Mountain Festival

The event runs July 11 to 14 in Nelson

New Nelson at its Best initiative offers connections for parents

U-Time Cafés take place every Wednesday at Rosemont School

Woman raising funds to save historic Rossland piano

Rare Steinway piano was in Miners Hall for a century, but was headed to the dump

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

B.C. woman left ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

Grand Forks woman assaulted in home invasion

The incident took place Wednesday morning

Kootenay youth substance use trending downward: survey

A bi-annual survey distributed to regional schools shows that youth substance use is decreasing

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the southern Interior

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Most Read