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September 27, 2018

Engineers to face disciplinary hearings in Mount Polley disaster

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The regulatory body for engineers in British Columbia is alleging negligence or unprofessional conduct against three engineers after the 2014 collapse of a tailings dam at the Mount Polley mine.

Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia says disciplinary hearings against Laura Fidel, Todd Martin and Stephen Rice will take place next year.

“The information released today marks the conclusion of a lengthy, independent investigation,” the regulatory body said in a statement Wednesday.

“Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s Investigation Committee alleges that three individuals involved in the design, construction, and monitoring of the tailings storage facility demonstrated negligence and/or unprofessional conduct in the course of their professional activities.”

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The allegations have not been heard by a disciplinary panel and are unproven.

Fidel could not immediately be reached for comment, and lawyers for Martin and Rice also could not be reached.

The disaster at the gold and copper mine was one of the largest in the province’s history and sent 24 million cubic metres of mine waste and sludge into nearby waterways.

A three-year deadline for provincial charges in the case passed last year amid an ongoing investigation by B.C.’s Conservation Officer Service.

If Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia’s allegations are proven through the disciplinary hearing, it says it can impose sanctions under the Engineers and Geoscientists Act that can include a reprimand, practice restrictions, suspension, cancellation of membership or a fine of up to $25,000.

Keep reading on CTV News


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