The federal government released its quarterly newsletter on the Faro remediation project that hints at major problems with water treatment on July 7.
It provided updates on the water treatment planning and design; problems with the heavy snow pack and resulting spring thaw; the status of the socio-economic assessment and progress on the water licence; and provided links to notes from the scope of assessment technical advisory committee meetings recently held.
It also provided a procurement update summarizing the core contracts already awarded and outlined the different contracts on the horizon.
Items of note are that the design and construction of a permanent water treatment plant has been deemed urgent and that the spring thaw seriously challenged the existing water management systems.
Due to the heavy snow pack and melt, more water was moving down the original channel than could be captured by collection systems. This caused the water which contained high concentrations zinc to enter the North Fork channel, immediately downstream of the area.
Efforts were made to improve the situation, but unfortunately different challenges were experienced. Weekly reports were provided to the technical review committee and to regulatory bodies while the situation continued.
Information on the contaminated release and response is being reviewed to prevent this from happening again.
The newsletter also noted that youth and Elders from the Ross River Dena Council had planted trees on the site from June 16 to 29.
Lawrie Crawford, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Yukon News