[acn-l] Boliden Mine Spill/ Australia Voluntary Measures (fwd)

Rob Huntley (rob at acn.ca)
Fri, 29 May 1998 13:42:21 -0400 (EDT)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is a forwarded message.
Please direct and/or copy correspondence to the original source.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 29 May 1998 12:26:58 -0300
From: "Gary Gallon, Canadian Institute for Business & Environment"
<cibe at web.net>
Subject: Boliden Mine Spill/ Australia Voluntary Measures

THE GALLON ENVIRONMENT LETTER
Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment
Institut Canadien du Commerce et de l’environnement
506 Victoria Ave., Montreal, Quebec H3Y 2R5
Ph. (514) 369- 0230, Fax (514) 369- 3282
Email cibe at web.net
Vol. 2, No. 13, May 29, 1998

ECONOMIC FALL OUT CONTINUES FROM BOLIDEN MINE
TAILINGS SPILL IN SPAIN - CLEANUP COST $150 MILLION

According to the Spanish government, it will take Cdn$150 million to clean
up the toxic sludge released from a mining reservoir last month. Spain's
Minister of the Environment said that they will hasten cleaning in order to
avoid having the toxic mud spread even further by fall rains. The government
gave approval today to release the first $30 million for the cleanup efforts.
The accident is being investigated to determine whether the reservoir burst
as
a result of human error or movements within the earth that disrupted the
foundation. Boliden Inc., the mining company responsible for the reservoir,
has said it will pay for the cleaning and will reimburse farmers for losses.
Source"Toxic Sludge Cleanup to Cost Spain US$100 Million." New York
Times, 26 May 98.

*************************************************************

BOLIDEN LTD. SHARES DECLINING AS RESULT OF SPILL

If Boliden Ltd., had taken the advice of its fired engineer and spent the
extra $20 to $30 million to build and maintain an upgraded tailings pond
for the much larger mining operation started at Los Frailes, Spain last year
it would not be facing its current economic crisis. The Montreal Gazette
newspaper reported that “shareholders of beleaguered miner Boliden Ltd.,
Spooked by a looming $427 million brokerage bill, racked up a bizarre first
for Canadian capital markets; they paid other investors to take their stock.”
It reports that a new form of trading instrument called an “instalment
receipt”

was sold be Boliden to stock investors who wanted to pay half of the stock
price upon purchase of an instalment receipt, and half later, in this case,
June 17, 1998. The Gazette reports that, “the instalment receipts went
negative

on the over-the-counter market, trading as low as 50 cents...that means
holders
were paying (others) to have the units taken off their hands.” It goes on to
say
that, “Boliden’s full shares have been hammered by concerns about the
disaster

last month at its Los Frailes zinc mine, 45 km wet of Seville...the stock has
dropped from $12.35 before the spill to $7.80 yesterday (May 28).” Source
“Boldien Shareholders Pay to Lose Stock”, by Michael den Tandt, The Gazette,
May 29, 1998.

***********************************************************

CAMBIOR MINE TAILINGS SPILL CASE TAKEN TO COURT

Another Canadian mining company, Cambior Inc., based in Quebec, was
taken to court as a result of the economic impacts of the environmental
mining disaster from its tailings pond spill in Guyana. Thirty-three months
ago Cambior’s Omai Gold Mine tailings pond burst spilling more than 3
million cubic metres of cyanide-laced sludge flooding into two rivers.
A non-profit group, Recherches Internationales du Quebec, was created to
sue in Canada on behalf of 23,000 Guyanese residents. They are requesting
millions of dollars in damages and restoration costs from the company.
Source“Cambior Asks Court to Reject Suit”, by Lisa Fitterman, The
Gazette, May 29, 1998.

*************************************************************

CANADA MINE TAILINGS MANAGEMENT POLICY

In June 1996, the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) Board of Directors
established a task force to promote the safe and environmentally responsible
management of tailings and mine rock facilities. “A Guide to the Management
of Tailings Facilities” was developed to provide guidance on good practices
for the safe and environmentally responsible management of mine tailings. It
reflects sound management practices already in place, and adopts principles
and

approaches from sources that include mining company manuals, proceedings of
the two workshops, the MAC Environmental Policy and Environmental
Management Framework, the ISO 14000 Essentials, Canadian Dam Association
(CDA) draft Dam Safety Guidelines (September 1997), and international
guidelines and standards.

MAC states that tailings facilities effective management depends on applying
both managerial and technical expertise. Engineering capability exists and
generally is applied throughout the Canadian mining industry in the safe
design,
construction, operation and closure of tailings facilities. The key to
managing

tailings responsibly is consistent application of that engineering capability
within an effective management framework through the full life cycle. MAC
recommends companies establish comprehensive tailings management
systems. MAC advocates effective self-regulation, demonstrate due diligence,
complement government regulations, and protect the environment and the
public by the mining companies. The purpose of the Guide is threefold

o to provide information on safe and environmentally responsible management
of tailings and mine rock facilities;

o to help companies develop tailings management systems that include
environmental and safety criteria; and

o to improve the consistency of application of sound engineering and
management principles to tailings and mine rock facilities.

SourceJustyna Laurie-Lean, Mining Association of Canada, 350 Sparks
Street, Suite 1105, Ottawa, K1R 7S8. Ph. (613) 233 9391, fax (613) 233 8897
Websitehttp//www.mining.ca/english/publications/speeches.html

*********************************************************

CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS (CES) CD ROM

The Canadian Environmental Solutions (CES) directory of some 600+
export-ready Canadian companies has become the primary resource for
governments and users in other countries to access the Canadian environment
industry. Developed by Lucien Bradet’s group at Industry Canada, under the
Canadian Environment Industry Strategy (CEIS), the CES is being widely
used by the Dept. of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT)
embassies and trade offices. Here are some of the responses of the Canadian
trade officers at the embassies.

Beijing, China
“I always think that CES is very handful tool and I am relayed lot on it. I
am
excited that new edition is developed and ready for us. If it is possible, I
would get 5 copies of CES. Thank you in advanced.” Sincerely, Dana Chen,
Commercial Officer.

Mumbai, India
“We think that CES is an excellent information tool. Indian companies have
found it to be extremely useful in identifying potential Canadian partners in
the environmental industry. We request you to send us 30 copies of the new
CES, which we can distribute to our leading business contacts.” Regards,
Amitabh Arora, Commercial Officer

Budapest, Hungary
CES is a wonderful tool and I'm pleased that you have again updated and
improved it. The CDversion is quite popular here. I would appreciate if you
could send me 20 copies or more. Note that we cover Albania, Bosnia
Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia in addition to Hungary and wish to send
a few to these territories. Thank you, Ilona Horvath

Buenos Aires, Argentina
CES is a very valuable tool, indeed. Several companies have asked for the
updated version of a program that they are well aware of. Thank you for your
offer. Considering our budget restrictions, I believe that we can start
with
25 copies. Thank you again. Take care, Elena Masciarelli

Guatemala/El Salvador
Congratulations! As I've said to you before, the CES CD is indeed very
useful
and very well designed. We're especially glad to hear about the marine
section

as this sector is gaining increasing attention in Guatemala. We use the CD
often
and have promoted it to larger clients in Guatemala and El Salvador. We also
use it
in trade fairs and environment seminars. We'd like to get 10 copies for both
countries if possible. Thank You, Margo Dannemiller.

*************************************************************

CONTACT ONTARIO GREEN INDUSTRY OFFICE
MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT

The Ontario Green Industry Office, of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment
continues to do excellent work for the environment industry. Be aware,
however,
that its phone system has been upgraded and the phone numbers changed. They
now are, fax (416) 314-7919

Jacquie Maund (416) 314-7897
Brad DeFoe (416) 314-7902
Rebecca McKenzie (416) 314-7908
Nora Gurland (416) 314-7912
Enrico Di Nino (416) 314-7913
Deborah McKeown (416) 314-7914
Laverne Barretto (416) 314-7915
Deborah Tsang (416) 314-7898

On the internet contact maundja at ene.gov.on.ca

*************************************************************

CANADIAN YOUNG ENVIRONMENT PROFESSIONALS (YEP)

Young Environment Professionals (YEP) is a non-profit, volunteer
organization dedicated to serving the environmental decision-makers of the
21st century. It is composed of highly skilled, energetic professionals
roughly
between the ages of 25 and 40, who are dedicated to environmental
improvement through our work in business, government, academe, associations,
and non-profit organizations. YEP is dedicated to promoting opportunities for
fun professional development and networking among environmental professionals
from government, business, non-profit organizations, academe and associations
in
order to achieve greater understanding and a stronger foundation for the
decision makers of the 21st century. Contact email Steven Pecksteven at acpco.com
or Rita Mezei at rmezei at pathcom.com. The YEP website will be
http//www.acpco.com/panda.

**************************************************************

TECHNOLOGY, NOT ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION THE
REASON FOR JOB LOSSES IN CANADIAN FORESTS

A study conducted in Ontario's logging industry, reveals that the application
of new clear cutting and handling technologies, not the conservation of
remaining forests has the primary cause of forestry job losses in Ontario and
Canada. The study found that between 1965 and 1990, the average yearly
area logged in Ontario rose from 136,000 hectares (ha). to almost 240,000 ha
— an increase of almost 75%. It also found that the clearcutting in Ontario
increased from 70% of the trees in the 1970's to almost 90% of the forest
lands cut in the 1990's. This increase in clearcutting over other less
intensive
harvesting methods like shelterwood, seed tree and selective logging may
partially explain why the annual volume of Crown timber harvested almost
doubled between 1960 and 1990, expanding from 9.9 cubic metres in 1960
to 19.0 million cubic metres in 1990.

It found that the increase in the rate and intensity of logging did not
increase
employment, but resulted in a decrease. It found a steady decline in
employment

in Ontario's logging industry over the past 30 years, from 10,824 workers
in 1965, to 6,485 by 1990 — a drop of more than 40%. Some of the new
technologies that reduced jobs were bigger and better chainsaws, the
maneuverable articulated skidder, the Feller Buncher developed with special
claw attachments, two hydraulic chainsaws and a rear carrying platform. It
allowed one operator to move to a tree, grab it with the hydraulic claws,
notch
it with one chain saw and fell it with another, load the tree onto the
platform
using the claws and, once fully loaded, transport the treelengths to a
designated
location for further processing. The more advanced Koehring ShortWood
Harvester replace a whole crew with one human operator. The operator could
cut designated trees within a radius of 40 feet using a cutting attachment
mounted at end of 40foot hydraulic arm, and then direct mechanical arm and
claws to feed the trees through an automatic limbing and shearing tower.
Trees
leaving the tower as partially barked, eightfoot bolts would be rammed
through
a springloaded gate into a massive threecord capacity cradle which could be
emptied when required with a clawlike mechanical grapple attachment.

In the 1990s, makers of machines with "intelligent" computeraided
harvesting heads and telescopic booms advertise "the advantage of a one
button [ie. one person] operation to measure diameter, calculate the optimum
length, delimb, cut and continue the operations until the tree is fully
harvested.
'High tech' machines like these provided dramatic savings in labour for tree
harvesting operations. In 1970, the Drott Manufacturing Co. advertised a
FellerBuncher that could replace 12 skilled chainsawequipped sawyers with
one operator. In the late 1970's, Koehring Canada estimated that two of its
ShortWood Harvesters, with an eightperson crew, operating 24 hours a day,
6 days a week for 9 months could deliver the same volume of wood to the
roadside as 300 bushworkers could produce in 7 months.

In Ontario during 1975 to 1989, the average annual harvest increased from
191,000
hectares (ha) to 210,000 (ha). In 1970, clearcutting was the method used to
harvest 70% of forests. In 1990, 90% of the forests were clearcut. 19701991
Annual volume of lumber produced increased from 2.0 million cubic metres
(cu. m) to 4.9 million . 1970 to1990Employment in the logging sector dropped
32% from 9,567 to 6,485. The Wildlands League, acting more like a good
economics advisor, instead of an environmental group, reports that more jobs
could be sustained longer in a more stable economy with selective and
patchwork harvesting, than with hightech clear cuts. SourceWildlands
LeagueWebsite http//web.idirect.com/~wildland/lands.htm

***********************************************************
INTERNATIONAL INTERNATIONAL INTERNATIONAL
************************************************************

NEW ENVIRONMENTAL REG REFORM IN AUSTRALIA --
ALTERNATIVE COMPLIANCE MECHANISMS (ACMS)

Australia issued a Report on Regulatory Efficiency Legislation. It
recommended
a new form of lawmaking and licensing whereby businesses could be exempted
from government regulations, where the company can provide better means of
compliance through the use of new technologies. In developing its
recommendations, the Law Reform Committee established a global internet
network, which has resulted in a global solution. The Committee drew on
government and business expertise from the OECD, Canada, European countries
and the United States. Mr Jim Martin, the former Director of Regulatory
Affairs

of Canada, said of the Report"it will move forward the yardstick against
which
other governments will have to measure their own progress in achieving
effective
and efficient regulatory systems."

The Australian government accepted the Committee's main recommendation that
advocated the enactment of Regulatory Efficiency Legislation to allow
business
to obtain approval for alternative compliance mechanisms (ACMs) to operate in
place of prescriptive regulations. ACMs are instruments that provide for
compliance with regulatory objectives by means other than those prescribed by
existing regulatory regimes. The Government has accepted the Committee's
model
for the operation of ACMs. The scheme for ACMs will apply to regulations that
impose regulatory burdens on business. The Government has accepted the Law
Reform Committee's recommendation that industry bodies should be encouraged
and permitted to develop alternative compliance mechanisms on behalf of their
members. The Committee's model for ACMs incorporates stringent safeguards.
An ACM would have to meet the objectives at least as effectively of any
regulation
as it replaces. An ACM would not be approved if it compromised safety, health
or
environmental objectives of the regulation. ACMs will be published widely and
will have to provide for adequate means of monitoring compliance. Strict
penalties
will apply for breaches of ACMs. The Minister responsible will have the power
to
revoke an ACM or suspend its operation in the public interest. Contact,
"Victor

Perton MP" <victorp at vicnet.net.au>. Website http//www.lawreform.org.au

**********************************************

WORLDWATCH INSTITUTE IDENTIFIES RAPID DECLINE
IN ANIMAL SPECIES WORLDWIDE

"We are in the midst of a mass extinction, an event not seen since the
disappearance of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago," says John Tuxill, a
Research Fellow at the Worldwatch Institute, Washington, D.C., and
author of Worldwatch Paper 141, entitled, “Losing Strands in the Web
of Life Vertebrate Declines and the Conservation of Biological Diversity.
"But unlike the dinosaurs, we are not just contemporaries of a mass
extinction-we are the reason for it." In 1996, the World Conservation
Union (IUCN), in collaboration with over 600 scientists, published a
groundbreaking survey of the status of animal life on Earth. According to
their estimates, 25 percent of mammal and amphibian species, 11 percent
of birds, 20 percent of reptiles, and 34 percent of fish species surveyed so
far are threatened with extinction. In addition, another 5 to 14 percent of
species in these groups are "nearing threatened status."

Scientists estimate that extinction rates are now 100 to 1,000 times greater
than normal-and rising sharply. Since most species are unknown and
unmonitored,
the relatively well-studied vertebrates offer one of the best windows on why
and
how species are declining. They found that the leading cause of vertebrate
declines was human destruction of old growth forests, wetlands, chaparral,
and other rich habitats. The Worldwatch Institute also reports on
over-hunting
and over-fishing, the main dangers facing about one-fifth of all threatened
species surveyed-propelled largely by commercial markets for wildlife meat,
hides, and other products. Of particular concern are the unregulated
"bushmeat"
trade in Central and West Africa, and East Asian demand for medicinal
products
derived from animals. Some 36 seahorse species are threatened by the trade of
an
estimated 20 million seahorses each year-for use in traditional Chinese
medicines,
in the aquarium trade, and as tourist curios. Contact Mary Caron, Worldwatch
Institute Press Officer; ph. (202) 452-1992 ext. 527; email
<mcaron at worldwatch.org>.
Website http//www.worldwatch.org/.

***********************************************************

THE NATURAL STEP CONFERENCE IN CHICAGO

Carole Wilmoth returned from The Natural Step Conference in Chicago
held (May 6- 10, 1998. Very impressive! 250 people there from all over the
world. The majority were from businesses, including, Hewlett-Packard, NIKE,
Boise-Cascade Pulp and Paper, Collins-Pine, Placon Corp. (polymers), SC
Johnson Wax, Levi Strauss, IKEA, Interface, Dupont of Canada, IBM Canada,
Fabricated Products/Dow Chemicals, Patagonia, and Nortel. The reason the
Natural Step proponents are having so much success is that they present the
facts in irrefutable scientific terms and ask the company how they might come
up with solutions to be more sustainable within their company— no blame--no
guilt. In most cases of the success stories, the company made more money than
before. Mathis Wackernagel was there, presenting his "Footprints of Nations"
report and more--I expected a much older person but is probably in his 40's--
very accessible and a great sense of humor. The whole conference was video
taped. The next Natural Step 5-day conference will be held next year in
Portland, Oregon A shorter conference will be held in August in San Francisco
Contact The Natural Step <tns at naturalstep.org

Contact, Carole Wilmoth, Exec. Committee, U.S. Sustainable Population
Policy Project (USS3P), 919 Vinecrest Lane, Richardson, TX 75080
972-238-8805; Fax972-479-0322 Website <www.iti.com/iti/uss3p

*********************************************************

RUSSIA STILL PRODUCING PCBS

With production of hazardous PCBs virtually eliminated worldwide, the
UN has discovered that Russia is still producing and using polychlorinated
biphenyls (PCBs). This is at a time when governments are preparing a treaty
to formally ban the use of key chemicals, like PCBs, that are considered
persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The treaty, "Protocol on Persistent
Organic Pollutants," requires participants to ban production of eight organic
compounds and phase out or restrict emissions of other, and will include
about 28 countries in Europe, North America, and the former Soviet Union.
Now under the proposed treaty, Russia will be given a special exemption that
will allow PCB production until 2005 and calls for destruction of the last
PCB's
by 2020. Montreal will be the next venue in June 1998 for next international
POPs treaty session. Source"Russian PCB's Complicate Toxics Treaty."
Washington Post, May 98.

*********************************************************

U.S. FOREST COMPANY FINED $37 MILLION

The Louisiana Pacific Corporation pleaded guilty to violating the U.S.
Clean Air Act. The company was fined US$5.5 million in criminal
penalties for excessive emissions at its plant in Olathe, Colo.; was
fined $31 million for additional offenses, including doctoring reports,
tampering with pollution monitoring equipment, and lying to inspectors;
and was ordered to donate $500,000 to environmental groups. Source
New York Times, May 28, 1998.

***********************************************************
*******************************************

$180.90 ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION TO
THE GALLON ENVIRONMENT LETTER

Subscribe to "The Gallon Environment Letter" and its “Green Jobs Available”
supplement. The 8 to 10 page newsletters are distributed twice monthly. Send
a cheque for $180.90 a year ($169.00+ GST) and help finance the research that
delivers inside information and breaking news on environment business in
Canada and the world. Make the cheque out to, "Gallon Letter", 506 Victoria
Ave., Montreal, Quebec, H3Y 2R5.

***********************************************
**************************

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Copyright (c) 1998 Canadian Institute for
Business and the Environment, Montreal
All rights reserved.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Gary Gallon
President
Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment
506 Victoria Ave.
Montreal, Quebec H3Y 2R5
Ph. (514) 369-0230, Fax (514) 369-3282
email: cibe at web.net