The Vancouver Sun reports in its Monday edition that environmentalists and Mount Polley-mine-area residents are anxiously waiting as one deadline approaches for federal agencies to lay charges over the 2014 collapse of the B.C. Interior mine's tailings dam.
The Sun's Gordon Hoekstra writes that after a 4-1/2-year investigation, a group comprising officials with Environment Canada and Fisheries and Oceans, along with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, delivered a charge package to federal prosecutors this spring.
It is now up to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada to determine if charges will be laid.
Under federal law, there is a five-year window that ends Aug. 4 to lay charges in a summary conviction under the Fisheries Act, where company face fines up to $8-million.
However, if federal prosecutors were to lay more serious charges as an indictment -- which come with higher maximum fines of $12-million -- there is no timeline.
Another deadline already passed at the three-year mark, when B.C. officials decided not to lay charges.
One of the largest mining-dam failures in the world in the past 50 years, the Aug. 4, 2014, dam collapse of Imperial Metals' gold mine in the B.C. Interior shook the industry.
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