The company’s Environment, Health, Safety and Community Management Standards (EHSCMS), formerly the Environment Health and Safety Management Standards (EHSMS) are based mainly on ISO 14001 and OHSAS (Safety) 18001 requirements and incorporate additional requirements based on our Code of Sustainable Conduct and elements described by the U.S. EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center (NEIC) for compliance-focused Environmental Management Systems.
Specifically, Standard 2 of the MSSC Requirements refers to the need to establish mechanisms to identify, provide access to, and keep abreast of, applicable legislation, regulations, permits, authorizations and other requirements. Teck ensures such compliance through risk assessment and management including monitoring, inspection, audits and prompt completion of corrective and preventive action.
Operations report to the Teck corporate office on a wide variety of environmental parameters including: program development activities, permit compliance, incident information (spills), air and water quality, energy consumption, GHG emissions, material use, recycling information, biodiversity programs, land reclamation and other GRI indicators. Progress towards, and maintenance of, certified environmental management systems is also required on a quarterly basis. This information is stored in a corporate environmental data system.
Teck Operations collect significant amounts of air, water, terrestrial and biological data to evaluate performance in meeting the identified permit conditions and other regulatory and voluntary requirements, and to assess receiving environment conditions. Findings are maintained in a secure database, evaluated for compliance and trends are reported, in accordance with regulatory requirements.
Teck’s goal is to operate in compliance with all environmental regulatory requirements and permits. On occasion spills, upset conditions, or storm events result in exceedances of permit or other regulatory limits (non-compliance events). In 2007 there were a total of 85 permit excursions including those of the six Elk Valley Coal Operations. However, performance comparisons with 2006, demonstrated a substantial 52% decrease in non-compliance events.
On an annual basis, tens of thousands of samples are taken to monitor compliance with permit conditions in air and water. Across all Operations, 2007 compliance rates were 99.98% for air and 99.35% for water.
Air Quality Management
Dust monitoring is conducted at all sites and attention to community concerns is paramount to our Operations. Of the total non-compliance numbers shown in the composite table, a total of 18 were associated with permit air limits or guidelines.
In 2007, with the decision to extend the Highland Valley Copper mine life to 2019, new infrastructure was required to develop a new portion of the pit. In 2008, Highland Valley Copper will be completing construction of a cover over one of the coarse ore stockpiles to reduce dust emissions.