The operators of Myra Falls mine have been added to the federal Environmental Offenders Registry and have been ordered to pay a $185,000 penalty for a spill of untreated acidic wash into the water of Myra Creek in 2014.
As first reported in the Mirror in September of 2014, the mine reported a spill of approximately 16,000 litres of “acidic substance” into Myra Creek, which leads to Buttle Lake. Samples were collected from both of those bodies of water shortly after the spill and the provincial Ministry of Environment determined, “based on the relatively small volume of material spilled, the short duration of the spill and the significant dilution provided by Buttle Lake, there are no concerns to human health.”
Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) officers also tested samples and determined, however, that the the water was harmful to fish.
As such, Nyrstar pleaded guilty in B.C. Provincial Court earlier this month to two counts under the Fisheries Act and one count under the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations connected to that spill. They have been ordered to pay a the $185,000 fine and have been added to the Environmental Offenders Registry – a registry created in 2009 with names of corporations convicted of offences under certain federal environmental laws.
The Mirror has reached out to Nyrstar for comment and will update this story once a statement has been received.
Operations at the mine have been suspended since April, 2015.