Significant Breaches of the Forest Practices Code along the Power Line Corridor for the Kemess South Mine in the Mackenzie Forest District

On July 27, 1998, a member of the public complained to the Forest Practices Board that his water supply had been affected by clearing work on a right-of-way for a power transmission line to the Kemess South Mine in northeastern BC. During the investigation of the complaint, Board staff observed that there were many instances of apparent failures by Royal Oak Mines (the licensee) to comply with provisions of the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act and regulations (the Code). Board staff undertook an inspection of the entire power line corridor and staff concluded that there were many failures to comply with Code requirements and that these were causing significant harm to the environment. The failures were a significant breach of the Code.

On June 28, l999, Board staff provided written notice, with details of the significant breaches, to the Forest Practices Board, the three ministers responsible for enforcing the Forest Practices Code (Forests; Environment, Lands and Parks; and Energy and Mines), senior staff of the three ministries and the licensee (Royal Oak Mines Inc.). This notification followed the procedure described in Section 4 of the Forest Practices Board Regulation. The Board assumes that the purpose of the requirement to promptly notify the ministers and licensee about significant breaches is to allow them to promptly address situations where there is significant environmental harm.