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drains our water

GROUNDWATER and wells at risk

Water is one of the most precious resources we have, but Rise Gold plans to pump out 1.2 million gallons every day for up to 80 years putting 300+ private wells at risk. 


Mine "dewatering" risks depletion of our region's groundwater, which could worsen drought-related scarcity. More than 300 private wells in the mineral rights area and nearby are at risk of failing or becoming contaminated. And, big questions about the proposed plan for mine waste management raises serious concerns.


The Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) describes a number of "mitigations" to reduce the impact and declares that the impact will be "less than significant", but there are big problems with that.

  1. The Water Board made it clear in Draft EIR comments that more rock testing was needed to assess whether the mine waste rock and tailings might leach out toxic chemicals into our surface and ground waters. But more testing hasn't been done.

  2. Serious deficiencies in the groundwater analysis identified by expert reviewers were not addressed in the final report:

    The computer model relied on only sparse patches of well monitoring data from over 15 years ago - a choice that does not comply with the CEQA (The California Environmental Quality Act).

    The EIR's measure for determining "significant impact" was set at a 10% drop - which experts conclude is an invalid choice. Consider that many wells in the area may be impacted with less than a 10% drop.

  3. The Final EIR adds a completely inadequate supplemental domestic well monitoring plan for 378 newly identified properties.

    mong the many deficiencies, the new program only includes about half the wells in the mineral rights vicinity and provides neither additional NID infrastructure to speed water replacement nor a third-party liaison to negotiate issues if problems arise


Here are some talking points that can help.

  • The Final EIR did not adequately address serious deficiencies identified by expert reviewers. Its claim that impacts "won’t be significant" aren’t supported.

  • 3.6 million gallons of treated wastewater will be released every day into South Fork Wolf Creek for 6 months, then 1.2 million gallons a day after that. 

  • Mine dewatering risks depletion of our region's groundwater, impacting drought-related scarcity.

  • Many hundreds of private wells are at risk because the groundwater impacts of dewatering the mine to depths below 3000 feet are truly unpredictable.

    • Potential well risks include: reduced output, contaminated water, or complete failure with no clear plan for a reliable or affordable replacement source.

    • The Final EIR proposes a supplemental domestic well monitoring program that is little more than a band aid.

    • The Final EIR completely ignores, and fails to mitigate effectively for, the complexity of providing an "alternative water supply" in a timely manner if piped water is needed.

  • Unanswered questions about mine waste management raise serious concerns.​


Read more about why the County should deny the Final EIR and the project. Look for points #2 and #3.

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