By Traci Sheehan - Community Environmental Advocates Foundation
We're on a mission to be the most vocal group at regularly scheduled Nevada County Board of Supervisors (BOS) meetings, which are held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month. Your written or spoken comments can make a huge difference.
Why should I make a comment to the County?
Nevada County has five supervisors, who will ultimately be responsible for the decision about whether to approve Rise Gold's application to open the mine. The County is now preparing a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) that should be ready for public review around the Summer of 2021. It is up to citizens to ask questions and voice concerns about the project.
How do I submit a comment to the Board of Supervisors?
The best way to make a comment to the Board is in-person, but you can also leave a voice mail that the Board will hear or a letter that the Board Secretary will read to the Board during public comment. Here are your options:
Go to the kiosk at the Eric Rood Administrative Center in Western County by 8:55 am and a staff person will give you instructions on how to comment. Public comment should begin around 9:05 am. Masks are required.
Comment live during the meeting by calling (530) 270-3474
In advance of the meeting, call (530) 264-0554 and leave a voice mail message
Email your comment to BOS.PublicComment@co.nevada.ca.us
Leaving an eComment at www.mynevadacounty.com/boardmeetings.
How do I format my comments?
Your comments should be no longer than 3 minutes and focus on 2-3 points you’d like to make. We suggest writing your key bullet points or scripting your entire comment.
Begin by stating your name, the neighborhood or district you reside in, and the issue you are commenting on. Click here to find out what Supervisorial District you live in.
Add your personal experience or give context by explaining why you are involved and care about this issue, what your profession is, or why you like living in Grass Valley or Nevada County.
Make a clear statement of what you want the BOS to do or consider. For example “The County needs to do an economic study as part of the public environmental review process because….”
What should I talk about?
Here are some ideas to spark ideas on your comments. Please put these concepts in your own words. Add personal experience and your own concerns. It's OK if others have talked about a subject before. The Board needs to hear a chorus of voices, not just one alone.
Air quality impacts from diesel trucks and equipment, blasting, drilling, and crushing rock as part of operations. Our air quality is already compromised.
Massive mine waste piles will be created over an 11 year period, covering most of the 56 acre site along Idaho-Maryland Road and Centennial Drive to heights of 70 feet, and covering 31 acres on the Brunswick site to heights of 90 feet.
Millions of gallons of water will be discharged into South Fork Wolf Creek and that could impact water quality by significant increases in flow rates, potentially mobilizing contaminated sediments and damaging the riparian habitat downstream and increase flood risk in downtown Grass Valley.
Neighborhoods would be impacted by the new truck traffic, noise, and vibration of large-scale, industrial-level mine operations.
Over 300 wells are directly over the area of Rise’s mineral rights. Citizens and homeowners are concerned about the potential loss or harm to their wells.
The County needs to look at the economic risks and potential financial impacts to homeowners, citizens, and businesses; however, the current environmental review process doesn’t include any analysis or study of those economic impacts. Urge the County to include an economic analysis in the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR).
Rise Gold owns two properties. One of those properties (the so-called Centennial property along Idaho-Maryland Road and Centennial drive) has been facing a Superfund designation because of historic mining operations and is now being reviewed by the DTSC without consideration of the plans to dump more mine waste there. That site contamination and future cleanup isn’t included in the current project analysis and it needs to be.
Who are our County supervisors?
Heidi Hall, Chair, Supervisor District 1
Ed Scofield, Supervisor District 2
Dan Miller, Vice-Chair, Supervisor District 3
Susan Hoek, Supervisor District 4
Hardy Bullock, Supervisor District 5
What if I'd like to comment in person, but can't wear a mask?
Masks are required to enter a County building. However, a remote kiosk center is provided outside of the Eric Rood Administrative Center for individuals unable to wear a mask.