Recent Projects

Atacama Desert, Desert, Mining Impacts on Adjacent Indigenous Communities

BOA Ltd. is working with two Canadian Environmental Consulting firms, as well as with Barefoot Productions, to clearly identify environmental issues from adjacent mining that impact adjacent indigenous Communities, engage in Consultation with the Communities and to establish dialogue amongst the mining operators and the Communities. This work is also the subject of a Feature Documentary produced by Barefoot Productions, Hollywood, CA.

Mount Polley Tailings Storage Facility Failure - 2014

The Mount Polley Tailings Storage Facility failed on August 4, 2014. BOA Ltd. was called in the day after the event and has been working with a Team of representatives from T'exelc - Williams Lake Indian Band, Xat'sull - Soda Creek First Nations and a Team of carefully chosen specialized Consultants. The principal role of BOA Ltd. was to to provide oversight to the Consultant Team and to assist higher level negotiations at Cabinet Minister levels.

Our first task was to Consult with Chief, Staff, Elders and Community Members. We then evaluated the range of issues that resulted from the TSF Failure and began to hire specially Firms in the fields of Ground Water, Ecotoxicology, Fresh Water Biology, Structural Engineering and Human Health Risk Assessment.

The work was carried at various levels, including Imperial Metals’ Senior Staff and Corporate Officers, a Table of Cabinet Ministers from the Government of British Columbia, Senior government Staff, and direct interface with the Consultant Team from Imperial Metals. We focused on defining the environmental issues, providing solutions to the issues and developing a highly intense monitoring program that covered off all ecological compartments that may have been impacted by the Spill. The Final Comprehensive Monitoring Plan is now in the process of implementation.

Mount Polley - Olding Report 2011

We were retained, in 2011, by the T'exelc Williams Lake Indian Band, Xat'sull Soda Creek First Nations, and a major mining corporation, to undertake an independent review of a proposed mining activity involving a proposed discharge to a tributary to Quesnel Lake. This is the first time in British Columbia that a mining corporation and First Nations have undertaken a collaborative review of a single project together. The Final Report was prepared independently and delivered simultaneously to both First Nations and to the mining corporation. High standard recommendations were provided that ensured protection of traditional resources and sensitive fisheries habitat. The Final Report became widely known at the time of the MPMC TSF Failure in 2014 and is now referred to as The Olding Report.

BOA Ltd. was retained the day after the Mount Polley tailings storage failure. We identified key issues and brought in a Team of individually specified Environmental Firms to assess damages and to negotiate appropriate mitigation and restoration activities. The Team disciplines included fresh water ecology, ecotoxicology, contaminated site response, structural engineering, and mine site closure considerations. We worked directly with Chiefs, Elders, Staff, Cabinet Ministers and Corporate Officers.

Crofton Pulp Mill contaminant impacts on Halalt First Nation traditional foods

We were retained by Halalt First Nation to review literature on the effluent stream emitted by the Crofton Pulp Mill into the marine waters of Stuart Channel and into the Crofton airshed.  We further identified:

  • the absence of dioxin regulation and traditional food closures since the mill began operation in 1957 until the 1990's, during which time ocean and beach foods were being consumed;
  • the continued advisory to this day on Dungeness crab consumption due to previous dioxin contamination;
  • the need for a renewed human health risk assessment to be carried out for the Halalt Community
  • BOA Ltd. worked with the Halalt First Nation to identify marine and air contaminants from the nearby Crofton pulp and paper mill. Our detailed literature review identified the persistence of dioxins in nearby Dungeness crab populations and the ongoing need for a Human Health Impact Assessment to be carried out on communities adjacent to the mill.

This work was carried out under contract to Halalt Project Director, Jack Smith, and in cooperation with Kristin Thomas, who carried out an impact survey of Halalt community members.

Marine Food Contamination

We carried out a literature review of all significant marine studies associated with the mill, including the Environmental Effects Monitoring required under the Fisheries Act which were carried out by Hatfield Consultants. We concluded that:

  1. There was no doubt that the mill had, over time, seriously contaminated the water column, the sediments and the marine life throughout the Chemainus estuary and Stuart Channel, both of which form a vital part of the Halalt Traditional territory.
  2. The regulatory response to marine effluent contamination from coastal pulp mills has been significant, to the point where all dioxin restrictions for shrimp, prawn and oyster harvesting have now been lifted.
  3. The remaining dioxin closures prohibit crab consumption beyond 40g/week, due to the persistence of dioxins in crab tissue.
  4. There is no defined timeline for when current dioxin contamination of bottom sediments and crab hepatopancreas will be eliminated.
  5. Oysters near the marine effluent outfall demonstrate lower survival levels, and are significantly smaller and lighter than reference oysters from non-contaminated areas.
  6. The Crofton Mill began operations in 1957. Fish closures were not put in place until the late 1980's. This leaves a span of over 30 years during which local residents were consuming potentially contaminated fish foods (e.g. beach foods including bivalves and crabs).

Atmospheric Contaminants

We reviewed recent studies, including peer reviews, of the estimated 106 contaminants discharged by the mill to the atmosphere, 70 of which are considered to be of greater concern. Most of these contaminants are not measured continuously and dioxin discharge is reported only annually, under terms of the provincial discharge permit. Local community pressure led to the mill retaining consultants to carry out a Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA), the primary goal of which was to evaluate the inhalation by resident humans of contaminants emitted by the mill's operations. This study was followed by two peer reviewed studies, one funded by the mill, and the other funded by the local community groups.

Since very few of the contaminants were directly measured, either at the point of release at the mill site, or at the point of human receptors, much of the work in carrying out a HHRA depends on modelling the list of contaminants, their rate of emission, their pathways through the atmosphere to human receptors, and their concentrations at the point of reception. After reviewing all studies, we concluded that:

  1. Based on the intial studies carried out by the mill, BOA Ltd. could not make predictions on the contaminant concentrations at Halalt IR2.
  2. The peer reviews clearly indicated that the inventory of contaminants, and their rate of emission must be redone for the Crofton Mill. This also meant that the atmospheric models needed to be redone. The HHRA also, therefore, needs to be redone.
  3. BOA ltd. recommended that a repeated Human Health Risk Assessment include ambient monitoring at Halalt IR2 and that sensitive receptor populations include the Halalt First Nation community.

Contact Brian Olding & Associates Ltd.


Telephone:   604.531.7132

Mobile:         604.790.1948

Thank you for your visit. If you have an issue or concern that you would like to discuss with Brian Olding, please email or call me directly. We are experienced in working with Chiefs, Elders, Staff, Cabinet Ministers, Corporate Officers and Professional Colleagues from all aspects of Environmental Science.

Brian Olding M Env Des 2


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