Report 2—Protecting Fish From Mining Effluent
At a Glance Report 2—Protecting Fish From Mining Effluent
What we examined (see Focus of the audit)
This audit focused on whether Environment and Climate Change Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada protected fish and their habitat from mining effluent at active mine sites, in accordance with the Fisheries Act and the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations.
Why we did this audit
This audit is important because Canadians rely on the federal government to mitigate the effect of mining effluent on fish and their habitat.
Overall, we found that Environment and Climate Change Canada took steps to protect fish and their habitat from metal mining effluent. These steps included enforcement action to address non-compliance with requirements related to mining effluent.
However, we found that the frequency of on-site inspections was significantly lower in Ontario than in other regions. In addition, reporting on mine site compliance with requirements was incomplete. Furthermore, the Department had not carried out a comprehensive risk analysis to prioritize inspections of non-metal mines.
We also found that Fisheries and Oceans Canada met requirements to protect fish and their habitat from mining effluent. Both departments reviewed mining companies’ plans to compensate for loss of fish and their habitat before recommending that mine waste be disposed of. However, we found that Fisheries and Oceans Canada needed to improve monitoring of these plans to ensure that they were actually carried out.
What we found about …
Managing effects of mine waste and effluent on fish and their habitat
Inspecting mine sites and addressing violations
Entity Responses to Recommendations
The audited entities agree with our recommendations and have responded (see List of Recommendations).
|Report of the||Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development|
|Type of product||Performance audit|
|Completion date||14 December 2018|
|Tabling date||2 April 2019|
For more information