THE NEED FOR A MINE EROSION AND SEDIMENTATION CONTROL PLAN GUIDANCE DOCUMENT FOR EXPLORATION, CONSTRUCTION, OPERATION AND CLOSURE
Erosion control during the mining cycle can be more effectively planned using Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plans (ESCPs). This raises the issue of who should develop an Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plan Guidance document (ESCPG) to standardize the content of ESCPs. A search for ESCPG documents in Canada revealed no examples for mine sites. In the U.S. there are a number of regulatory authorities who developed such documents for mine sites, including EPA. An ESCPG is expected to result in: (a) plans will be more standardized (b) more clarity and efficiency for those generating ESCPs; (c) assisting regulators tasked with reviewing/approving ESCPs; (d) providing guidance for the mine effluent permitting process relative to sediment control; (e) providing a basis for developing and including ESCPs in the Environmental Assessment (EA) phase and the mine economic assessment; (f) applying and optimizing ESCPs above the “watersheds” of sediment ponds; (g) utilizing the ESCPG document for “exploration” sites; (h) lowering the risk of adversely impacting water quality downstream of mining activities; (i) providing a methodology for determining the need for sedimentation pond(s) during the construction and production phases; and (j) providing a clear environmental sustainability message relative to sediment control if the mining industry takes the lead in developing an ESCPG. ESCPs will proactively create increased administrative (regulatory) efficiency in the EA and sub-EA reviews relative to erosion control and sediment release from mine sites.
Erosion; Control; Controls; Mine; Mines; sediments; Soils;