Tailings Engineer of Record Workshop a Big Success

The Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA) hosted over 50 industry leaders, including subject matter experts, regulators, owners, and practitioners for a Tailings Engineer of Record (EoR) Workshop on January 26, 2017, in Denver, Colorado.  The event was designed to identify concerns of filling the role of the EoR for tailings storage facilities (TSFs) and develop guidance for those working on TSF projects in the United States and abroad.  Kimberly Finke Morrison, P.E., R.G. (Morrison Geotechnical Solutions), a GBA Board Member and GBA’s Tailings EoR Task Force Chair, coordinated the workshop and was pleased by the support that she received from so many industry leaders from across North America.  Ms. Morrison said, “In the wake of the Mount Polley (Canada) tailings dam failure in 2014 and the Samarco (Brazil) tailings dam failure in 2015, the efficacy of the EoR for TSFs has been brought into question worldwide with industry looking for guidance on how to approach management of these constantly-changing and perpetual facilities. This impressive group gathered to review available information, share professional opinions, and start preparing guidance.  This step was necessary, and I appreciate the support we received from so many.”

Ms. Morrison and Robert E. Snow, P.E. (D’Appolonia) are compiling input from the workshop to prepare a draft National Practice Guideline for the Tailings Engineer of Record (EoR).  Upon completion, they will seek industry-wide endorsement prior to distribution.  The Task Force is also evaluating opportunities to prepare a Best Practices monograph and/or owner messaging documents using the results of the workshop.

The Mission of GBA’s Tailings EoR Task Force is to raise awareness among GBA member firms who perform tailings storage facility design services of the concerns and issues related to Engineer of Record (EOR) for these ever-changing facilities; outreach to industry, other organizations, and regulatory agencies, as appropriate, for feedback on the issues; and develop internal and outreach documentation on the issue, including defining roles/responsibilities of the EoR, and implementation of a transfer process for EoR for tailings storage facilities.

For additional information about GBA’s Tailings EoR Task Force, including meeting notes, workshop summary materials and presentations, published articles, and other reference material, please visit:  GBA Tailings EOR Task Force