Every day, we carry out some form of environmental monitoring at our operations.
“Whether it’s testing air, water, soil or noise, our monitoring efforts help us to understand, manage and protect our natural environment,” says Dale Churcher, our VP Engineering. “Monitoring is our eyes and ears.”
The data we collect allows us to build a picture of our natural world so we can evaluate its health. Knowing what aspects we need to manage at a mine site is an important part of keeping our environmental impacts to a minimum.
“Simply put,” says Dale, “environmental monitoring is just like other tracking systems – such as weather forecasts and traffic reports. It helps us make better decisions.”
Why bother with environmental monitoring?
Well, there are three main reasons:
1. Monitoring gives us a baseline
By studying air, water and soil samples in and around our proposed mine site we can find the natural baseline of the local environment. This lets us know what we’re working with and provides a benchmark against which we can measure our ongoing monitoring efforts.
Getting a baseline is very important as some areas have natural water quality or soil readings that fall outside of standard environmental regulations. In these cases, being able to demonstrate that there were environmental issues before our activities began confirms that our operations did not create these conditions.
2. Monitoring gives us feedback
Monitoring lets us know what we’re doing right and if we’re doing anything wrong. It is essential for understanding our impacts and making sure we comply with environmental regulations.
We have detailed plans at all our mine sites that outline where, when, how and why we monitor what we do. Our ongoing monitoring efforts tell us how well our programs and activities are working to mitigate our environmental impacts. It is essential for understanding our impacts and making sure we comply with environmental regulations.
3. Monitoring helps us make informed decisions
Our environmental monitoring data allows us to track trends and identify areas for improvement. The science behind the data allows us to make sound decisions to continue to protect our natural world.
“By checking the environmental conditions before, during, and after operations,” says Dale, “we can be sure we are taking good care of the areas in which we live, work and play.”
For more on how we plan the various stages of our mines, check out this previous blog post on Environmental Impact Assessments.
Next post we’ll be sharing a slideshow of our environmental monitoring practices at our mines. Want to be notified when it’s published? Sign up to receive email alerts.