The Union spoke with County planners and confirmed the delay. The article includes a great timeline showing where the community has opportunity for comment. And as an aside, explains why the County follows this process rather than putting the project up for a community vote.
The countdown for the Idaho-Maryland Mine’s Environmental Impact Report looks similar to the countdown to the pandemic’s end — unclear.
Rise Gold, the company interested in reopening the mine and miles of tunnels beneath Grass Valley, purchased the property in 2017. The company’s CEO estimated in May that the draft EIR would be available around September. However, Nevada County’s senior planner for the project, Matt Kelley, expects the draft to take another few months.
“It’s taking time to put together,” Kelley said, specifically referring to updates to a number of technical studies needed for the document. “Those took time to write and update. We’re back and forth between the applicant, the county and our consultants.”
The EIR, based in the California Environmental Quality Act, functions as a disclosure document, Kelley said.
“The CEQA statute and CEQA guidelines lay out the environmental review process,” said Emily Breslin, deputy director of communications and external affairs in the state’s Office of Planning and Research.
Kelley said all projects — be it an outhouse or a multi-storied apartment complex — require some form of environmental review by law. The review process ends quickly via categorical exemption for smaller projects, Kelley said, but the larger scale developments require real time to investigate intersecting realms of the community.
Read the rest in The Union.
Rebecca O’Neil is a staff writer with The Union. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org