★ Community Urges NID to put Safeguards in Place



After vigorous discussion and lengthy, detailed public comments, NID considered crafting an extensively conditioned resolution approving the legally-required assessment of the controversial Rise Gold mine in Grass Valley, California.

 

For Immediate Release:

February 10, 2022


Contacts:

Traci Sheehan

Community Environmental Advocates Foundation

traci@cea-nc.org

Water agency considers water needs for the Idaho-Maryland Mine

Community urges NID to put safeguards in place to protect against mine impacts


Grass Valley, CA – At the urging of community members, the Nevada Irrigation District (NID) today considered whether to approve a request to verify the Water Supply Assessment (WSA) for the potential re-opening of the long closed Idaho-Maryland Mine.


RISE Gold Corp., a company headquartered in Canada, has proposed re-opening the mine. The water supply analysis is required for large-scale projects with significant environmental impacts as part of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).


After vigorous discussion and lengthy, detailed public comments, NID considered crafting an extensively conditioned resolution approving the legally-required assessment of the controversial Rise Gold mine in Grass Valley, California.


The ID-MD Mine’s proposed groundwater use has the potential to drain wells on adjacent properties.


“We believe this draft environmental report is flawed, incomplete, and provides a wholly inadequate assessment of NID’s water needs,” stated Christy Hubbard, a well-owner who is concerned over the ID-MD Mine’s potential to force her to rely on NID for her water. “Instead of asking NID to serve 31 homes in one small area, we need to take a much closer look at the risk of NID being asked to serve hundreds of homes and businesses across the entire mineral rights area – ranging from the hospital, to the airport, to Cedar Ridge.”


NID Board members and staff heard from nearly twenty community members who expressed concern about potential damage to wells and lack of effective safeguards in place for well owners within the 2,500 acre mineral rights area.


“Rise Gold’s claim that they will be a ‘net water producer’ by pumping groundwater is false and misleading and ignores the body of science that fundamentally links surface and groundwater,” stated Keiko Mertz, Policy Manager of the South Yuba River Citizens League. “Regardless, both surface and groundwater together make up the water ‘bank’ for our community. This project does indeed have the potential to adversely impact water supply in our region. Well users who can no longer access groundwater will become dependent on our already limited supply of water.”


NID Board discussion and public comments focused on the uncertainty of information, the uncertainty of making predictions in the face of unknown operations and an increasingly unpredictable climate future.


The conditional approval of the Water Supply Assessment does not guarantee water service to the affected parties and is only intended to indicate that at the current time, based on the information currently available, that NID appears to have sufficient water available to address well failures predicted due to mining operations for approximately 30 property owners nearest the site.


Directors and staff discussed having detailed comments and response to the assumptions in the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), as well as safeguards for the affected wells and unidentified parcels and well owners that may suffer damage. NID staff were directed to formally request the County of Nevada require fiscal security, like a bond to be posted in an amount appropriate for financial exposure of the District and its tax and rate payers, in the event the project is abandoned, sold, or RISE Gold goes bankrupt.

For more information about the potential re-opening of the Idaho-Maryland Mine visit: www.MineWatchNC.org


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The mission of the Community Environmental Advocates Foundation (CEA Foundation) is to perform research, education, and advocacy to promote public policy and actions resulting in responsible land use and environmental protection in Nevada County and the Sierra Nevada region. https://www.cea-nc.org/



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