Local agencies made extensive comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the proposed reopening of the Idaho-Maryland Mine, some of them calling for a recirculation of the draft due to multiple inadequacies.
Nevada Irrigation District (NID) Comments for the Idaho Maryland Mine Project Draft EIR:
The Union newspaper covered the presentation of this information in the public comment meeting in their article Packed House: Hundreds of people attend Idaho-Maryland Meeting. Here is an extract from that article. Nevada Irrigation District General Manager Jennifer Hanson said there are inconsistencies in the report’s math, pointing to mitigation efforts for the 30 wells accounted for that could be affected by the mine’s dewatering process. Hanson said each dwelling could use up to 4 gallons per minute, but noted that the report said the client would pay for up to 400 gallons a day via mitigation efforts. “Four gallons a minute is 576 gallons per day,” Hanson said. Hanson also said the commission should extend the mitigation measure to run with the parcel itself, as opposed to expiring at the property’s sale. Hanson said Rise Gold Corp., the entity trying to reopen the mine, should purchase a bond worth around $14 million to account for the assumptions and unknowns of hydrological modeling and the risk incurred to their neighbor’s water supply. Hanson said the district serves over 700 irrigation customers, on top of purveying potable water to most of Nevada County, and requested that a water quality mitigation measure be included in the next EIR that would require daily monitoring and public availability to data regarding discharged water.
City of Grass Valley Comments on the Draft EIR:
The Grass Valley City Council hired its own consultant to review the mine report. Citing multiple deficiencies, recirculation was recommended.
The Union newspaper wrote about it in A change of mine: Consultant makes suggestions about Idaho-Maryland Mine Here are some extracts from the article
A consulting group told the Grass Valley City Council this week that there are multiple technical deficiencies in the draft environmental impact report for the Idaho-Maryland Mine.
Jeffrey Harvey, principal and senior scientist with Harvey Consulting group, LLC, pointed to a proposed 80-year permit for the mine, as well as water quality and emissions, when delivering his presentation Tuesday to the council. He recommended the county revise the draft EIR, recirculate it and again go through the public comment process.
According to Harvey, Rise Grass Valley, the company seeking to reopen the mine, purchased the land and mineral rights from Emgold in 2017 and requested a permit to reopen the mine for 80 years. “The previous total granted by the city was only 20 years, made a big difference,” said Harvey.
The Harvey Group recommended the Nevada County Board of Supervisors, which will decide whether to approve the mine’s permit request, reconsider the whole approach.
“We suggest a 30-year alternative, with 10-year environmental performance reviews and adaptive management as needed,” he said. “We also recommend reducing operational size by half to 500 tons per day, still a sizable operation. And we’re looking at operational hours from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. We’d change to daytime hours only. The Centennial Site (10344 Centennial Drive) is proposed to have mine residual fill and it’s not really acceptable for that material. It really should be permitted as a separate industrial project.”
Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District (NSAQMD) comments on the Draft EIR:
Extracts from the report include:
“Asbestos is a well-known carcinogenic toxic air contaminant. Effects of asbestos exposure are insidious, highly variable and may not show up for 10 to 40 years or more. The most infamous result of asbestos exposure is mesothelioma, a specific type of cancer.”
“Asbestos emissions are the primary concern of the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District (NSAQMD). The DEIR’s treatment of naturally occurring asbestos is scientifically unsound and therefore not adequate for CEQA purposes.”
“The DEIR’s approach of translating asbestos discovered in solid rock samples into PCM [Phase Contrast Microscopy asbestos tests] fiber concentrations in air is not possible.”
“None of the DEIR’s discussions regarding PCM conversions are valid.”
Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (CVRWQCB) comments on the Draft EIR: