First Nations health officials to start salmon testing after B.C. mine spill

First Nations health officials are preparing to test salmon near the site of a mine tailings spill in British Columbia’s Interior to determine whether the fish are safe to eat.

LIKELY, B.C. — First Nations health officials are preparing to test salmon near the site of a mine tailings spill in British Columbia’s Interior to determine whether the fish are safe to eat.

The tailings dam at the Mount Polley Mine failed last Monday, releasing millions of cubic metres of water and silt into surrounding lakes, creeks and rivers.

The First Nations Health Authority says it is developing a sampling program to address concerns over whether the fish are safe to eat.

Testing results have so far found the water is within health guidelines and that the spill isn’t likely to affect aquatic life.

But leaders in two nearby First Nations say their members don’t think the salmon is safe to eat and aren’t fishing.

Chief Bev Sellars of the Soda Creek Indian Band says she doesn’t believe the company and the government know what the full impact will be on the environment and salmon.

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