Mine Closure and Post Closure

Hazardous Waste Facilities

Hazardous waste facilities are defined in the provincial Hazardous Waste Regulation as facilities (including piles, surface impoundments and storage facilities) used to handle, store, treat, destroy or dispose of hazardous waste.231 This regulation requires closure plans to be prepared before the facilities commence operation. At closure, the facility must be closed within the period specified in, and in accordance with, the approved closure plan.232

Overview of BC Law

BC law contains broad legal provisions requiring land, watercourses and access roads to be left in a manner that ensures long-term stability.233 The miner must take all practicable measures to ensure that the mine workings and fixtures remain secure.234 Monitoring programs must be carried out to demonstrate that reclamation and environmental protection objectives (including land use, productivity, water quality and stability of structures) are being achieved.235 Where a mine requires on-going mitigation, monitoring or maintenance, the miner must submit a closure management manual that:236

  • describes and documents key aspects of the ongoing mitigation, monitoring and maintenance requirements; and
  • tracks important changes to components of the system that effect long-term mitigation, monitoring and maintenance requirements.


BC’s laws do not contain adequate legal provisions regarding the long-term decommissioning of mining infrastructure.

Recommended Solutions

Mandate sharing of infrastructure decommissioning information with local communities

[Tags: Post-Closure; Decommissioning; Environment; Health & Safety]

It is imperative that local communities be adequately informed about post-closure infrastructure decommissioning plans. This need is recognized in Ontario’s Nuclear Safety and Control Act, which mandates that applicants for a licence to abandon a uranium mine or mill must inform persons living in the vicinity of the mine or mill site of the general nature and characteristics of the anticipated effects of the abandonment on the environment and human health and safety.237

Mandate the preparation and implementation of management plans for contaminated soils

[Tags: Management Plans; Contamination]

In Ontario, soils in the vicinity of sites used for storing or transferring petroleum products, chemicals, ore, concentrates or waste during the life of a project must be sampled and tested for contamination. If contamination is found to exist, a management plan consisting of a risk assessment and action plan for the contaminated soils must be implemented.238

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