British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Elk Valley Selenium Task Force (EVSTF) update and overview, 2009 Pumphrey, John F.; Gilron, Guy


Selenium (Se) concentrations in the Elk Valley have become elevated due to the weathering and mobilization of Se from seleniferous bearing rock, which is intensified as a result of mining practices. The Elk Valley Selenium Task Force (EVSTF) was established in 1998, to investigate the potential environmental effects of Se in the Elk River watershed. The EVSTF is a joint industry-government steering committee consisting of representatives from: the B.C. Ministry of Environment (MoE), the B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources (MEMPR), Environment Canada, representatives from each of the five Teck Coal (formerly, the Elk Valley Coal Corporation (EVCC)) coal mines (specifically: Fording River, Greenhills, Coal Mountain, Line Creek, and Elkview Operations), representatives of the corporate Environment, Health and Safety departments of Teck Coal and Teck Resources, and a Secretariat. In the past few years, the EVSTF has expanded its focus and direction beyond biological effects studies, to include a better understanding of the fate, speciation, and bioavailability of Se, and Se management and control opportunities; biological effects and biomonitoring studies continue in order to establish practical, site-specific criteria. Work plans for 2009 and beyond will focus on: biomonitoring trend studies, Se geochemical behaviour and modeling, Se treatment research and development, and the development of site-specific thresholds and management triggers for Se.

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