What Does it Mean to be the Engineer of Record (EoR) for a Tailings Storage Facility (TSF)?

Author: K. F. Morrison, R. E. Snow, P. W. Ridlen, C. N. Hatton 
Conference: Tailings and Mine Waste
Date: November 5-8, 2017

One would think the term “Engineer of Record (EoR)” is an easy concept to grasp. For most public infrastructure projects (e.g., roads, bridges, buildings, water dams, etc.), the Design Engineer and the EoR are one and the same. This concept has also been applied, to some degree and in a similar manner, to tailings storage facilities (TSFs). However, TSFs do not apply a “conventional” construction process, nor do they adhere to a typical construction schedule. Instead, they typically apply the observational method described by Peck (1969), with a construction life that covers decades. The usual application of the EoR concept does not nec-essarily translate well in these instances. The Mount Polley (Canada) tailings dam reportedly had five named individuals serve as EoR during a four-year period prior to the failure that oc-curred in August 2014. That incident served as the catalyst for review of the EoR concept by the mining industry and those that regulate it. This paper provides results of a survey conducted to obtain information on the current state of practice for TSF EoR services, and identify con-cerns within the engineering community who perform such work.


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