Why the dam at Mount Polley failed

An inside look at Mount Polley, plus a B.C. fishery’s dire crisis

Pretty dam big problem
The dam at Mount Polley mine was a “loaded gun,” or so say the authors of a report on the breach of a tailings pond that released a torrent of contaminated water into the Cariboo watershed last August. The design did not take into consideration the instability of the ground beneath the retaining wall and, as a result, was too steep to hold up to the stresses imposed by the 8 million cubic meters of mine tailings it was supposed to contain. (via CBC)

Shell shock
A ban of B.C. geoduck clams by Hong Kong’s health authority is having a dismal effect on the industry, according to The Vancouver Sun. The $50 million fishery, which exports around half its product to Hong Kong, cut production by 50 per cent over the last month. Hong Kong implemented the ban after samples tested positive for a toxin that can lead to paralytic shellfish poisoning. The large burrowing clam, with a slinky-neck that can stretch longer than a human arm, is among B.C.’s most valuable seafood harvests, with the majority of the catch shipped live by plane to China or Hong Kong. (via The Vancouver Sun)

Super Bowl score
A B.C. company will catch a unique perspective of Sunday’s game in Arizon. Vancouver’s Avigilon Security Corp., a manufacturer of high-definition security cameras, has installed 200 of its devices in the University of Phoenix Stadium, where the Seattle Seahawks go up against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX. The cameras will cover the entire seating bowl and field, as well as select exterior angles. And the Super Bowl is no small gig: besides Avigilon, the stadium will be patrolled by bomb-sniffing dogs, nuclear device-detecting teams, and an undisclosed technology that can intercept drones.