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Author Topic:   Planning Commission Meeting - January 20, 2009 IMMC1
Barb
Administrator
posted 07-28-2009 09:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Barb   Click Here to Email Barb     
Reported by: Tricia N. Kelly, CSR #3604
PLANNING COMMISSION PUBLIC HEARING
CITY OF GRASS VALLEY
TUESDAY, JANUARY 20, 2009
PUBLIC COMMENTS
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25 absence of significant mineral deposits as required by
State Mining and Geology Board showing the presence and
completed Mineral Land Classification Report from the
mineral management element. By 1991, Nevada County had a
General Land Use Committee. My role was working on the
From 1991 to 1992, I was on Nevada County's
data was there to answer many of his questions.
watch the merging on ramps and exiting off ramps as the
observe this ready-made experiment? All he had to do was
Did Mr. Dan Landon of the Nevada County Road Department
heavier than any number Idaho-Maryland Mine would create.
didn't notice any problems when the traffic was many times
was closed. This has happened recently more than once. I
Freeway and then on Highway 49 to Auburn when Highway 80
Nevada City and to Grass Valley on the Golden Center
traffic from Highway 80 traveling west on Highway 20 to
We have seen the impacts of detoured heavy truck
now about as big as an Encyclopedia Britannica.
and finished. There shouldn't be any extensions. It is
DEIR, the Draft EIR, and then accept the DEIR as adequate
impact report, need to answer today's comments on the
Department and the preparers of the EIR, environmental
at 11465 Butler Road, Grass Valley. You, the Planning
PATRICK HURLEY: I'm Patrick Hurley, and I live
--oOo--
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Public Comments - January 20, 2009
GOLD COUNTRY REPORTING
131 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
(800)482-9120 (530)272-4422
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25 reserve in the world; this in addition to other mineral
gold reserves in the world, but the most significant gold
"Nevada County may not possess one of the most significant
Conservation, Division of Mines and Geology, states,
Geologist David Beebe, of the California Department of
numerous copper/zinc deposits in Nevada County. Senior
land uses. There are other 400 gold localities and
minerals at a national level may take precedent over other
India for minerals, and the value of Nevada County's
will have to compete with growing economies like China and
In the near future, and this is from 1991, we
mineral deposits occur.
and mining have to be done where good agriculture land and
world. You can build houses about anywhere, but farming
and elsewhere in the valley on the best farmland in the
done is like building cheap subdivisions in Yolo County
county in the state. What the planning departments have
resources. Why? Nevada County is the most mineralized
Nevada County was told by the State to protect its mineral
excellent, recently completed Mineral Management Plan.
As of 1991, Nevada County had in place an
it in their land planning process.
incorporate the information in their general plan and use
SMARA. The counties' lead agencies are required to
California's Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1975,
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Public Comments - January 20, 2009
GOLD COUNTRY REPORTING
131 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
(800)482-9120 (530)272-4422
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25 over a long period of time, eventually making them
projects, but to cripple or kill them by dragging them out
At times CEQA is used not to make better
possibility of mining.
people that moved around there that there was a
surface (sic) extraction. This would have notified the
labeled ME a long time ago, between surface mining and
deposits from incompatible use. They should have been
prime directive, to protect Nevada County's mineral
departments of both the County and City have ignored their
and the County followed CEQA and SMARA? No. The planning
Act, and SMARA to the nth degree, but have Grass Valley
followed CEQA, that's the California Environmental Quality
Now, the preparers of the DEIR seemed to have
incompatible use.
says our aggregate resources are especially vulnerable to
are even deposits of rare earth minerals. But the report
that were being mined in 1991, and carbonate rock. There
deposits of asbestos, high-grade quartz cobbles for silica
mineralization. Barite has been mined. There are
County. There is evidence for molybdenum and even mercury
to gold, zinc and copper, have been mined in Nevada
chrome, iron, tungsten, silver and manganese, in addition
In addition, the report declared that lead,
resources."
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Public Comments - January 20, 2009
GOLD COUNTRY REPORTING
131 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
(800)482-9120 (530)272-4422
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25 activity, either surface or subsurface. Many abandoned
Any property may have past or current ongoing mining
"The Sierra Nevada Foothills are a mining area.
the second paragraph says mining.
times it is called the right to farm, but, if you'll look,
Realtors, and this is demanded by state law. A lot of
which is approved by the Nevada County Association of
given the board members copies of the disclosure statement
As I said, my name is Bob Wilder, and I have
and I'll have some for the rest of the department.
to give to the members of the commission some information,
BOB WILDER: My name is Bob Wilder, and I'd like
--oOo--
the mineral deposits are. Thank you.
California and our nation. And remember, this is where
felt just in Grass Valley, but in all of Nevada County,
would be created. The economic ripple effects will not be
for each mine worker another four to seven secondary jobs
opening the Idaho-Maryland Mine would be great. Remember,
out of our current recession. The economic benefit from
Job growth in the private sector is the only way
mine going and create jobs.
declare the DEIR finished and adequate, and let's get the
what CEQA is supposed to be about. So stop the debate,
financially unviable. This is misusing CEQA. This isn't
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Public Comments - January 20, 2009
GOLD COUNTRY REPORTING
131 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
(800)482-9120 (530)272-4422
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25 that are talking about their values going down, the mines
That goes to prove that some of these people
it's worth about $300,000.
in this area his property value greatly increased and now
134,000. He goes on to say that when mining was started
his property in Battle Mountain, Nevada five years ago for
Mr. Robert Perry was interviewed, and he said he purchased
and this took place over at Battle Mountain, Nevada. And
statement out of the Sacramento Bee from January 4, 2008,
I've also given you a copy of a newspaper
this project is designated.
large yellow ones, at least they were yellow, are where
In your packet I have given you a colored page, and those
got it, but you'll see that it has a lot of marks on it.
designations, and I went to the Planning Department and
I have here a copy of the portion of the mineral
Agency for further information," blah blah blah.
water wells. You may contact the Environmental Protection
been known to affect soils and groundwater sources such as
location. Mining activities, both past and present, have
these have been identified or mapped as to the exact
or animals and have been known to collapse. Not all of
been sealed, covered or blocked from access by the public
in the Sierra Nevada Foothills. Not all of these have
mine shafts, adits and mine tunnel air holes can be found
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Public Comments - January 20, 2009
GOLD COUNTRY REPORTING
131 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
(800)482-9120 (530)272-4422
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25 In 1968 -- people are talking about the water
I've been here for a good many years.
be nearly so eloquent as the people in front of me, but
BEN COLEMAN: Ben Coleman. I probably will not
--oOo--
issues very well. Thank you.
that the Draft Environmental Impact Report covers the
of money has been spent on this project. And I do believe
I think time is of the essence. I think a lot
Impact Report and do not stall along any longer.
Commission to please approve the Draft Environmental
final report will be issued. I'm asking the Planning
the draft report, and from this and the public input the
This has been stalled long enough. Remember that this is
Many questions and answers have been addressed.
it is fatally flawed and incomplete data.
wanting the environmental report to be thrown out because
January 16th, the nonprofit The Sierra Fund, is also
believe it does. Also in the newspaper on Friday,
does not address the impact of truck traffic. I certainly
Landon, he sent that letter stating that the mine report
Also, in a recent letter to the paper by Dr. Dan
years.
values of property in Nevada County in the last couple of
are not open now but there's been a lot of decline in the
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Public Comments - January 20, 2009
GOLD COUNTRY REPORTING
131 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
(800)482-9120 (530)272-4422
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25 electric vehicles. And the mines everywhere are trying to
trucks in particular run, the number of hybrid and
change and more change coming as to the way that diesel
The air pollution, there's been a great deal of
than the water coming through Wolf Creek now.
is now and by the time it is treated will be much cleaner
what I've read the water in the mine is even cleaner as it
awhile. And the water there is relatively clean, but from
Creek, I've been in Wolf Creek, lived at the top of it for
mine now as compared to the water going past it in Wolf
will be okay and still there. The water coming out of the
anything, but there's a very good chance that that water
So I think -- there's no guarantees about
getting wells.
down those shafts. People were still drilling water and
too, when they were still open and people could go up and
that time. It's happened with other mines around here,
still empty when you'd drive up and down those tunnels at
dry, yet they were still drilling wells and the ground was
this was the Banner Lava Cap -- that their wells would go
later, people were complaining that if the mine opened --
those tunnels 600 feet underground. Up above, a few years
mine, and you could have driven a pickup down some of
caretaker was nice enough to let me down, and a friend of
being unavailable. I was down in one of the mines, as a
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Public Comments - January 20, 2009
GOLD COUNTRY REPORTING
131 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
(800)482-9120 (530)272-4422
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25 didn't have to. We have been working for quite some time
Impact Report, and that's correct. We didn't because we
experts to help us in analyzing the Draft Environmental
Union today. The Sierra Fund did not hire any outside
as a result of an article that was in the pages of The
perhaps clarify what could be a bit of a misunderstanding
I do also want to take a brief opportunity to
rewritten and will need to be recirculated.
Impact Report is fatally flawed and will need to be
comments will illustrate that this Draft Environmental
said, we do believe that our analysis show and our
look at, www.sierrafund.org. And as a previous speaker
Those comments are available on our website for anyone to
appreciate the opportunity to have been able to do that.
the Commission, I believe, is well aware of, and we
couple of things. We have filed extensive comments, as
And primarily what I want to do is just say a
Fund based in Nevada City.
Thornton. I'm a mining project organizer with The Sierra
MIKE THORNTON: Hello. My name is Mike
--oOo--
at that. I had my two cents worth. Thank you.
well on the air impacts also. Anyway, I'll just let it go
air. And I suspect that the EIR has been addressed very
be more efficient and better stewards of the land and the
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Public Comments - January 20, 2009
GOLD COUNTRY REPORTING
131 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
(800)482-9120 (530)272-4422
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25 until about 1985, when their agenda changed and they
forest. I belonged to the Sierra Club for many years,
things, like saving two to three percent of the old-growth
environmental groups have accomplished some very good
reopening. Let me start by saying that in the past
I'm speaking here tonight in favor of the mine
live in Nevada City.
opportunity to speak tonight. My name is Gary Brown. I
GARY BROWN: Good evening, and thank you for the
--oOo--
behalf of your constituents. Thank you.
information that you can use to make good decisions on
And we hope that our efforts will help to give you
important project and decision for all of you to make.
comment on what we believe is obviously an incredibly
thank the Commission and the City for our ability to
And I would just, once again, briefly like to
Environmental Impact Report.
available to do detailed analysis of this Draft
Sierra Fund on those issues, and so we have those experts
policy and legal experts who are already working with The
mining in the Sierra, we already have scientific, public
And because we have been working on issues related to
has gotten us statewide as well as national attention.
on our Mining Toxic Legacy initiative, an initiative that
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Public Comments - January 20, 2009
GOLD COUNTRY REPORTING
131 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
(800)482-9120 (530)272-4422
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25 hundred vehicles per day going into the Briar Patch Market
in the EIR. I would say there are at least four to five
per day of which 110 are trucks. This is what is stated
trip out. This amounts to a total of 621 to 709 vehicles
trucks. There are two trips per week, one trip in and one
The EIR states 1,242 to 1,418 trips, not 1,400
is incorrect information.
fill the city with diesel fumes, noise and traffic. This
be 1,400 trucks leaving the mine every day which would
last meeting I heard several speakers say that there will
misinformation and half truths with fact, i.e., in the
techniques to accomplish this is to intermix
states in the Union with minerals. One of their
industry in California, which is one of the richest of the
They have also almost destroyed the mining
that destroys the very thing you're trying to protect.
protect the trees so long before you cause the disaster
California in the past two to three years. You can only
the destructive fires that have occurred in Southern
in Northern California. One can see the results of this,
doesn't exist in Southern California and it's very limited
devastated the logging industry to the point that it
the old-growth forest, the environmental groups have
Since the 1980s, after their success in saving
became quite hostile toward industry.
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Public Comments - January 20, 2009
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131 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
(800)482-9120 (530)272-4422
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25 me.
impression and some specific examples of how it looks to
different parts of the DEIR, but I want to give an overall
written comments, significant comments and detailed
Valley, the city. My husband and I did submit some
I do have grown children and grandchildren living in Grass
I live outside of Nevada City on Red Dog Road.
that you extended the comment period. Thank you.
I appreciate the opportunity to comment on the DEIR and
SHARON DELGADO: Hello. I'm Sharon Delgado, and
--oOo--
and Nevada County.
the heritage and the prosperity of mining to Grass Valley
You, the Planning Commission, have a chance to bring back
and act on the comments to move this project forward.
I urge the Planning Commission to accept the EIR
enough.
review and comment period for the past 81 days. Enough is
There has been an EIR study for over two years with public
find fault with any and all analysis, founded or not.
that the EIR is inadequate and must be redone. They will
run out of start-up money or just give up. They will say
the EIR process in the hope that the mining company will
They will also do whatever they can to extend
or any other market or drugstore for comparison.
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Public Comments - January 20, 2009
GOLD COUNTRY REPORTING
131 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
(800)482-9120 (530)272-4422
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25 Draft Environmental Impact Report is flawed with similar
risks. That's the whole point of the DEIR. So the whole
definitely be a part of the DEIR, whether or not there's
there are risks and where the risks might be. That should
proposed is just a proposed future study to find out if
this as Class II even though the mitigation that's
danger of cave-ins and even injuries are categorized in
impacts even with the mitigation. For instance, the
Significant Impact With Mitigation -- have significant
categorized as Class II -- that would be Less Than
Likewise, many of the impacts that are
of hazardous materials. That's significant.
environment through the routine transport, use or disposal
likewise, a significant hazard to the public or the
significant impact with no mitigation needed. And
To me, it's illogical to say that that is less than
tailings could lead to degradation of groundwater quality.
groundwater contact with backfilled waste rock and mine
backfill in the underground mine workings. And
tailings, and other solid waste that would be used as
1,200 tons per day of mine development rock, gold mill
No Mitigation Needed. Included in those Class III are
Class III impacts, the Less Than Significant Impact With
significant way. For instance, just starting with the
Overall, the DEIR downplays risks in a really
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Public Comments - January 20, 2009
GOLD COUNTRY REPORTING
131 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
(800)482-9120 (530)272-4422
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25 The issue I'd like to address tonight really
Pines Business Park.
Grass Valley. In particular, I work in the Whispering
Bassett, and I'm both a concerned resident and employee of
opportunity to speak this evening. My name is Keith
KEITH BASSETT: Good evening. Thank you for the
--oOo--
you.
And in my opinion, that should be part of the EIR. Thank
can expect with additional particulates and air pollution.
of studies that actually show what increase in asthma you
There are a lot of statistics, there are a lot
people will die prematurely?
playing sports like my grandson? How many of our elderly
sports field are going to be out of breath and sick after
many more? How many more teenagers who are out on the
grandchildren, are going to have to use inhalers? How
many more of our children, like more than one of my
and have these significant and unavoidable impacts? How
What would it mean to our families to have the mine open
Mitigation, especially -- well, the air quality issues.
Class I, the Significant and Unavoidable Impact With
More important to me, as a grandparent, is the
measures.
illogical classifications and inadequate mitigation
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Public Comments - January 20, 2009
GOLD COUNTRY REPORTING
131 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
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25 become more difficult to do business in Grass Valley,
increase in traffic levels. In short, it will certainly
inmitigatable air quality impacts and a substantial
businesses will now have to deal with the significant and
life environment that is now Grass Valley, local
cultivating a high-tech industry and a high quality of
Whispering Pines plan and after over 50 years of
Twenty-five years after adoption of the
large.
Whispering Pines businesses, and the high-tech industry at
and switch being perpetrated on local businesses, local
heavy extractive industry would constitute a massive bait
environment." Rezoning the Idaho-Maryland site now to
facilities on improved sites with the highest quality
small firms, particularly high-tech, "... seeking to build
district has been set aside for large, intermediate and
Specifically, the plan states that the SP1-A
employment center.
zoned SP1-A, corporate sites, and as a, quote, planned
for the region of present-day Crown Point Circle to be
Whispering Pines Corporate Community Specific Plan calls
proposed reopening of the Idaho-Maryland Mine. The
City of Grass Valley on February 14th, 1984 and the
Pines Corporate Community Specific Plan adopted by the
concerns what I see as the conflict between the Whispering
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Public Comments - January 20, 2009
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25 than the Master Environmental Assessment that preceded it,
certainly addresses the effective ground vibration better
But first, the Draft Environmental Impact Report
points that I will now put in layman's terms.
corporate counsel at headquarters that include all the
Tonight we are submitting formal written comments from our
regarding the vibration on behalf of the corporation.
Mine. I have been authorized to speak to you tonight
Business Park is directly above the old Idaho-Maryland
355 Crown Point Circle, Suite A, in the Whispering Pines
Center here in Grass Valley. My office at our facility,
and I am a senior engineer in the Linear Technology Design
JOSEPH PETROFSKY: My name is Joseph Petrofsky,
--oOo--
time.
considering this project as a whole. Thank you for your
community to act carefully in reviewing the Draft EIR and
recirculated as required by CEQA. I urge our entire
and, therefore, a second draft of the DEIR should be
City should recognize the Draft EIR is in need of change
these deficiencies in the Draft EIR, I believe that the
foreseeable consequences for local businesses. Given
and economics impacts fail to address the easily
The Draft EIR sections on zoning, air quality,
particularly in the Whispering Pines Business Park.
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Public Comments - January 20, 2009
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25 avoid certain time windows than is, say, a kitchen
lengthy measurements is simply no more programmable to
beyond our control. Furthermore, our test equipment for
labor agreements, shift schedules, and other factors
schedule would be set by traffic mitigation measures,
disturbance. It is our understanding that the blasting
consideration of mitigation 4.9-3a, to avoid residential
is, within the 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. due to the
known today, but they are known to be during the day, that
Those times under this second option cannot be
will be performed.
scheduled predetermined times during which the blasting
including during blasting, or 0.5 inches per second during
proposed, 0.1 inches per second at all hours of the day,
ground motion at our site with two possible limits
directed to. The mitigation calls for measurement of
measure 4.9-3c, which the rest of my comments will be
The Draft EIR includes proposed mitigation
those consultants, and for that we thank them.
measurements and sharing with us the resulting report by
own vibration consultants to our facility for background
of our business operations, going so far as to bring their
Company has also been proactive in considering the needs
for that additional work. The Idaho-Maryland Mining
and Linear Technology thanks the City and its consultants
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Public Comments - January 20, 2009
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25 further include a corrective action timetable of no more
Linear Technology requests that the agreement
allow our operations to continue uninterrupted;
or if the 0.1 inches per second proves to be too much to
plan if vibration exceeds the 0.1 inches per second level,
to perform this mitigation include a corrective action
Linear Technology requests that this agreement
timely manner should vibrations hamper our operations;
data recorded at our site be made available to us in a
Linear Technology requests that the measurement
City or a contractor answerable to the City;
be performed by an independent third party, either the
Linear Technology requests that this monitoring
for the mine;
include the City, perhaps as part of the operating permit
agreement be not just between the mine and LTC, but should
Linear Technology requests that the mitigation
following terms and conditions:
this monitoring, Linear Technology would like to see the
in accordance with ISEE standards. In conjunction with
limits, calls for monitoring vibration levels at our site
be adopted. Mitigation 4.9-3c, under either of the above
first proposed limit, 0.1 inches per second at all times,
Therefore, Linear Technology requests that the
blender.
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Public Comments - January 20, 2009
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25 And I'm really impressed with the
My name is Elise Hougesen. I live at 418 Oak Street.
ELISE HOUGESEN: Hello. Can everybody hear me?
--oOo--
mitigation 4.9-3c. Thank you for your consideration.
each and every one of these points being part of the
the exact wording of these terms, we really must insist on
Therefore, while there may be some room for negotiation on
be done by the engineers and technicians we employ here.
do are a critical part of our operations that simply must
The vibration sensitive diagnostics we currently
cost exit clause should we decide to move or relocate.
And finally, Linear Technology requests a no
standards, for the location of vibration sensors;
space that meets the industry standards, that is the ISEE
itself because we don't appear to currently occupy any
for any improvements, easements, or rent for the sensor
necessary facilities costs payable to the building owner
terms of this agreement. This should also include any
attorney fees to cover our expenses in negotiating the
mine owner or operator. This should include reasonable
mitigate business interruptions are to be borne by the
Linear Technology requests that all expenses to
caused by mining operations;
than ten calendar days to remedy business interruptions
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Public Comments - January 20, 2009
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25 Idaho-Maryland Mine would simply restore the truck traffic
other words, business has slowed so much today that the
proposed reopening of the Idaho-Maryland Mine now. In
resultant pollution back then would equal that of the
and DeMartini's businesses, the amount of traffic and
height of truck traffic during Robinson's, Hansen Bros.'
might be that it did not take into account that at the
If the EIR did not cover anything at all, it
his observations on to you.
water flowing to the downstream rivers. So I'm passing
(sic) in China, a passage at the base of the dam to keep
out of dams, which was passed on to the Five Gorges Dam
River State Park, he offered the solution to keeping silt
project, which led to the designation of the South Yuba
comprehensive. He's smart. Back at the Orinda Dam
400, 500 page EIR. He found it to be unbiased and very
My son has read a substantial portion of the
past couple of years in a logical manner.
here and express how everything has struck me over the
pneumonia -- I'm past contagious -- but I wanted to come
going to leave after because I'm on the tail-end of
old. He couldn't be here because of a cold. And I'm
by it. My son, Christopher Fenstat (phonetic) is 38 years
live in the neighborhood of the mine. I will be affected
professionalism that I hear. I'm just a little guy. I
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25 flawed. Since the opponents continually present a biased
and hysterical to oppose it on the grounds that the EIR is
sound projects that there is. It is foolish, pessimistic
The mine is one of the most environmentally
delay the reopening of the Idaho-Maryland Mine.
legal requirements and endless meetings and discussions to
about future business projects. They will continue to add
confidence to the extent that no one will listen to them
against the EIR, they will continue to erode public
closed. If they persist in their unscientific accusations
are simply using a tactic to keep the Idaho-Maryland Mine
follows the due process of the law. Opponents of the EIR
It fulfills the requests of those opposed to the mine and
comprehensive and well researched in an unbiased manner.
The EIR should be approved as it is
support the mine trucking.
we need to contend with. The freeway overpasses will
such as tanks and missiles, in case there's another 9/11
figured for the transport of military defense vehicles,
Also, the weight load of overpasses has been
Sacramento and San Francisco.
the mine because most of our pollution comes from
last election would more than offset any pollution from
Also, the fast train that we approved of in the
that has been.
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25 despite the proximity of three known faults, the Idaho
in the Idaho-Maryland Mine DEIR is a seismology study
Among the information that I was unable to find
JOY WAITE: I'm Joy Waite from Grass Valley.
--oOo--
economically depressed county. Thank you.
the good, tossing out the bad, to bring prosperity to our
president, and see how the Idaho-Maryland is building on
odd and novel things that do not work. Respect our
1970s, tossing out everything that is old and embracing
the future. The opponents should not be stuck in the
upon the good of the past to promote positive change for
Barack Obama, in his inaugural address, built
Mine.
of law in evaluating the reopening of the Idaho-Maryland
accept the results of the EIR and respect the due process
meetings to request what it should contain. They should
requested the EIR and had ample opportunity during many
I'm addressing these things. The opponents of the mine
an open mind and I've been hearing a lot, so that's why
meetings for two years so I feel like I've been okay with
The opponents of the -- and I've been going to
facts whatsoever. Their statements are all slanted.
interpreted as having any accuracy or validity to the
platform, none of their statements against the EIR can be
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25 water will not drain down to the mine water table."
tables are geologically separate, and as such the well
approximately 260 feet below surface. The two water
mine water comes from a water table that is located at
bottoming at approximately 100 feet below surface. The
mineral rights boundaries draw from a water table
quote from the document: "All existing wells within the
The reclamation plan also states that, quote, I
closing.
monies held in trust for many more years than that after
believe that this monitoring should be required and bond
dismantled and scrapped in accordance with ordinance." I
system and the discharge diffuser ... piping will be
year," a period of one year, "the dewatering and treatment
continuously for," and I emphasize, "for a period of one
found to meet the Porter-Cologne and Clean Water Acts
quote: "Should the inlet water to the treatment system be
Project Application starting on page 3-46 states, and I
prepared by Idaho-Maryland Mine in their Revised Mineral
For example, according to the reclamation plan
requirements for reclamation have on our community.
environmental implications that the scope or lack of
DEIR is another gross omission considering the potential
that the reclamation plan has not been included in the
Fault, the Weimar Fault and the Morehouse Fault. The fact
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25 problem when inaccuracies and inconsistencies exist in
is being presented in the hearings. This is a potential
the last Planning Commission hearing that misinformation
David Watkinson stated in the public record at
depth.
laterals versus semi truck access to an undetermined
environmental impacts of previous vertical shafts and
environmental impacts. There must be a difference in
for a semi truck access, was used in determining
decline designs, which in any case would be large enough
the application, the DEIR does not specify which of the
Speaking of the proposed decline, as stated in
relationship between dewatering and groundwater and wells.
in the application Idaho-Maryland Mine is claiming no
the effects of dewatering cannot be predicted even though
But we know that, since the application, that
level."
extend to the decline portal and length above the 100 foot
discontinuous, as it exists in fissures, and does not
above the 100 foot level. The well water table is
that the decline will not intersect the well water table
portal location is sufficiently far from the nearest wells
will be constructed at a 15 percent grade. The decline
250 foot level with the exception of the decline, which
"All mining activity will be performed below the
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25 wasted that could be tapped to create a positive future.
this in the future. Valuable time and energy are being
a means to prevent becoming mired in applications like
I also believe that the City needs to figure out
the City at any time during the proposed activity.
to any unknown or unforeseen events and can be accessed by
met. I believe that bonds must be in place that are open
requirements, those are the specified requirements, are
is returned to the applicant when the specified
bond money is returned to the applicant -- the bond money
important than the amount of the reclamation bond, as the
that the requirements of the reclamation plan are more
plans are grossly inadequate. The public may not be aware
My point is that both the DEIR and reclamation
what number is accurate.
today. We've had many figures, and we still don't know
at the last meeting and another figure was presented
Watkinson suggested something over 200 truck trips per day
that's about 280 employee trips and 1,064 trucks. David
trips per day. If approximately 20 percent are employees,
vehicle. Then in the DEIR it does state 1,424 vehicle
ratio of approximately five trucks to one employee
the vehicle trips as presented -- are presented as being a
For example, in the revised mineral application,
documents the public is provided for review.
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25 400 new workers into the community. The cost would be
crime that could be associated with the introduction of
don't think is addressed as fully as it could be would be
Another thing that I saw in the DEIR that I
currently is.
I think it does need to be more comprehensive than what it
Grass Valley, and I think that's a flaw in the Draft EIR.
the whole region as a whole. It's too specific just to
is that it's not comprehensive, that it doesn't include
So one of the fatal flaws I see in the Draft EIR
and tear, or the State would, too.
County also will have costs associated with the road wear
costs are only being picked up by Grass Valley, but the
or whatever. And the costs are only being mitigated or
be using, if they're going to be using 174 or Highway 20
trucks are going to be going, which route they're going to
example, the county. We still don't know where these
mine, it also has impacts on other areas outside, for
you are the lead agency in addressing the issue of the
like to clarify or elaborate on a little further is, as
But an issue I brought up in the past which I'd
though, so if -- our address is Grass Valley.
Valley. I live in the unincorporated part of the county,
MARK CALHOUN: Mark Calhoun. I live in Grass
--oOo--
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25 The Grass Valley Design Center was opened in
reported its 91st consecutive profitable quarter.
billion dollars. It is a solid company that has just
1.2 billion in annual sales and a market cap of 4.87
environment. Linear Technology is an S&P 500 company with
permanent and have little or no adverse effects to the
industrial equipment. The jobs we bring to the area are
networks, digital cameras, MP-3 players, medical and
end up in cell phones, navigation systems, computer
markets various linear integrated circuits. Our products
Linear Technology designs, manufactures and
Valley Design Center.
Anderson. I'm the manager of the Linear Technology Grass
RALPH ANDERSON: Commissioners, my name is Ralph
--oOo--
much.
be rejected and it should be redrawn. Thank you very
Valley, and for that reason I think the Draft EIR should
whole region as a whole and not just specifically to Grass
enough. It needs to look at more of the issues for the
few meetings I've come to that it's not comprehensive
into it, but I think my point has been made over the last
So I'm not going to take any more time going
the County.
borne primarily by the City of Grass Valley, but also by
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25 Design Center has increased its staff by 350 percent. Of
centers. Over the last five years, the Grass Valley
most successful in Linear Technology's twelve design
From the standpoint of growth, we are the second
life available here in Grass Valley.
engineers locally and nationally based upon the quality of
Center has been extremely successful in recruiting
and local environmental beauty. The Grass Valley Design
traffic, low population density, low crime, low pollution,
quality schools, recreational opportunities, lack of
of life that are judged favorably. These terms include
Quality of life is a term that refers to assets
a very strong selling point.
environment that is appealing to them and their family is
We have found the ability to place an employee in an
well-educated and highly sought after in their profession.
attracting and retaining individuals that are
successful semiconductor companies face, that is,
Technology faces some of the same problems that all
location for a design center was not arbitrary. Linear
Linear Technology's choice of Grass Valley as a
community.
dollars. And most of this money stays in the local
with an annual operational budget of almost three million
2003, and it employs engineers, designers and technicians
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25 other two are within 20 miles. The reasons these
companies are in Grass Valley, 23 in Nevada City, and the
84 high-tech companies in Nevada County; 59 of these
The Economic Resource Council's web page lists
determination in fostering the growth of high-tech jobs.
Grass Valley Group in 1959, Grass Valley has shown
very deep history in high tech. Since Doc Hare opened the
mining history. Grass Valley, however, also does have a
Valley used to be a mining town. Grass Valley does have
high-tech businesses to the Grass Valley area? Grass
Idaho-Maryland Mine have on the ability to attract new
Number two, what effect does the opening of the
affect the ability of companies to exist.
local environmental beauty will directly or indirectly
in the Draft EIR. Factors such as traffic, pollution, and
of opening the mine on local businesses is not addressed
Idaho-Maryland Mine have on local businesses? The effect
Number one, what effect does the opening of the
current Draft EIR. These issues are:
wish to discuss economic issues that are missing from the
This brings me to the point of this talk. I
years.
count increase of up to 100 percent over the next three
largest. Our growth plans were formulated to allow a head
the eleven remote design centers, we are the fifth
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25 environmental beauty. The ability to retain employees
traffic, increased pollution, and decreased local
affected by changes in the population density, increased
attract employees into the area will undoubtedly be
employees employed in these businesses? The ability to
employees into the local businesses and to retain
existing businesses in the Grass Valley area, to attract
the Idaho-Maryland Mine have on the ability to grow
Number three, what effect does the opening of
jobs in the area.
life and what does this potential have on affecting new
changes brought by the mine will affect the quality of
businesses." The Draft EIR needs to address how the
"We have the greatest banquet in the world for attracting
life that many California business leaders are hungry for.
when he asserted that the area offers a great quality of
CEO of the Economic Resource Council, in December of 2007,
This last point was illuminated by Gil Mathew,
beauty.
increased traffic, and decreased local environmental
by increased pollution, increased population density,
new high-tech businesses will almost certainly be affected
design center here. The ability for the area to attract
the reasons that compelled Linear Technology to open its
companies are attracted here are really no different than
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25 do these jobs come? Thank you.
which must be addressed by the Draft EIR is at what cost
be cautious about the claims of quick jobs. The question
Grass Valley City Council and the Planning Commission to
In these harsh economic times, I encourage the
forced to relocate out of the Grass Valley area.
retain employees at our Grass Valley site, we would be
are found to be detrimental to our ability to attract and
Grass Valley. Furthermore, if the issues addressed above
which cannot be resolved, Linear Technology will leave
RALPH ANDERSON: If vibration becomes an issue
Mr. Anderson.
THE CHAIRMAN: I need you to wrap it up,
site which is zoned for just such a use.
a semiconductor design facility which is operating at a
a hardrock mine directly beneath our existing operations,
top of an operating mine. The applicant is asking to open
not talking about opening a semiconductor design center on
Mine might present upon us. Please keep in mind, we are
However, it's not the only impact that the Idaho-Maryland
the most direct environmental impact that we could face.
directly above the old Idaho-Maryland Mine. Vibration is
As Mr. Petrofsky mentioned, our facility is
EIR does not fully address these issues.
will likely be diminished for the same reasons. The Draft
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25 profit for at least three months before any construction
project, using the ceramics to process, and operating at
to that which would be extracted from the ground in this
using 200 tons per day of feedstock geologically similar
Golden Bear Ceramics must have a plant operating elsewhere
impacts will not deviate from those analyzed in the DEIR.
enforced to provide some assurance that the environmental
measure, along with others already on file, must be
In addition, the following key mitigation
and a new DEIR must be written and recirculated.
the possible scenarios of local ceramics plant production,
description must be provided by the applicant detailing
'08 is effectively invalid. The revised project
This all means that the DEIR released in October
analyzed in the DEIR will not happen.
possibility, even a probability, that the one scenario
attract more investors. As a result, there is strong
decouple Golden Bear from the mine project in order to
and a year and a half after Emgold's restructuring to
after Golden Bear's statement of intent to do so elsewhere
never been used on a commercial scale even now, two years
plant production levels. The ceramics process has still
The DEIR only considers one scenario of ceramics
TOM GRUNDY: Tom Grundy, Nevada City.
--oOo--
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25 requirement for an off-site ceramics plant prior to local
The City and the applicant must enforce the
the number 400.
mentioned and by the incessant and unfounded repetition of
being taken for a ride for all of the reasons just
the entire 640 page DEIR. It turns out that even they are
Understandable, given that not everyone has time to read
jobs from this project is the highest possible priority.
Many area residents feel that the benefit in new
ceramics production alone.
workers anticipated for either the gold processing or
area, likely employing far fewer than the 200 total
removing ore from the ground and shipping it out of the
this project could be limited to nothing more than
life of this project. As a result, the entire scope of
Valley could never make one dime of income over the entire
production, there is a distinct possibility that Grass
Table 12, for the unwritten scenario of no local ceramics
Analyzing the project economics in the DEIR, Appendix H,
gold processing will not be allowed to ramp up either.
ceramics production does not ramp up its schedule then the
project. IMMC has already stated by email that if the
success or failure affects the CEQA review of the entire
We've established that the ceramics plant's
is allowed to begin locally.
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25 applicant years ago to wait until the ceramics had been
all, it's ironic that the City could have told the
application process to go much more quickly, as would we
Third, while the developers would like this
that is really running the whole show?
unscrutinized, technically not a part of the CEQA process,
slipping in under the radar, mostly unreviewed and
considerations. But is a small economic analysis document
by the lead agency with the simple statement of overriding
effort and expense on all sides, can ultimately be ignored
plus pages of environmental review, consuming years of
Second, it is especially ironic that the 600
this project until near the end of project year eight.
planned, the City does not earn three million dollars from
scenario of full ceramics plant production and sales as
fees and water plant costs on this case. Even under the
Valley has already lost three million dollars in legal
As reported in The Union several times recently, Grass
Grass Valley vs. Newmont Mining to be heard in Sacramento.
DEIR. First, today was the scheduled hearing date for
Lastly, three quick bits of irony about the
unfounded.
seeking jobs and income that their hopes are not
opportunities, to provide some form of assurance to those
operations, both in the scope of CEQA and at all other
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25 on Banner might be affected. I feel that a man with his
mine workings might be affected. He also said that wells
That's probable. The other man indicated that other old
full impacts of dewatering will be until it occurs. (sic)
rural areas at all. He also says that to know what the
This is far from right. It will have no impact on the
inhabitable and destroy lifestyles in the rural areas.
dewatering the mine will result in rendering properties
relates to the dewatering of the mine. One states that
hydrogeologists were hired to give a report on water as it
In the paper today, I've read there were two
Grass Valley, 437 French Avenue.
JACK CLARK: My name is Jack Clark. I live in
--oOo--
actually possible and probable. Thank you.
a rigorous economic analysis using scenarios that are
residents and taxpayers, and to the environment to perform
on faith. The City owes it to CEQA, to IMMC, to its
be an almost sure loser. Please do not take these words
success. This project, as described, may well turn out to
Even venture capitalism has some chance of
business plan and project description from the beginning.
and would have allowed them to present a more legitimate
This would have saved IMMC huge amounts of money and time
ramped up elsewhere before beginning the CEQA process.
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25 all over the areas, the rural areas outside the old city
brought to them. In that period of time there were wells
years before the neighborhoods had piped water taken --
place to where they could deliver water. It took a lot of
them several years to get the reservoirs and ditches in
You take -- in 1923 the NID was formed. It took
mines are pumped out.
wells will continue to be just like they are when the
dewatering the mines do anything to any of the wells. The
be on record as making the statement that in no way will
of what the mine is like than other people do. I want to
as the surface buildings. I have a different perspective
I have been in all levels of the mine, both mines, as well
I worked for the Idaho-Maryland for 13 years and
Brunswick. Water does not go through solid rock.
that came from that mine into the Idaho-Maryland or
full of water in 1919. In no instance was there any water
part of the Brunswick, beneath that mine. That mine was
in three different levels, part of the Idaho-Maryland and
Idaho-Maryland. And we mined within 100 feet of that mine
Mine is adjacent to the Brunswick and is part of the
any other mine except the Union Hill Mine. The Union Hill
There is no connection nor close proximity with
this.
background is very foolish to make such a statement like
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25 and mix it with the Newmont water, which was left sealed
clean water from the Idaho-Maryland down to Grass Valley
the solution to pollution is dilution. So if we pump the
and I don't have a degree, but it's common knowledge that
to say, except the pollution. Now, I'm not an engineer
speakers, Mr. George (sic) and Wilder, what I might have
It was covered pretty well by the first two
Cement Hill in Nevada City.
CLARENCE FOSTER: Clarence Foster, I live on
--oOo--
any change. Thank you.
this void. When it's dewatered, there's not going to be
water level in the wells has not dropped at all because of
between the wells and the water level in the mine. The
JACK CLARK: Presently, there's a big void
THE CHAIRMAN: Please wrap it up, Mr. Clark.
200 --
that there will be no problems. Now, presently there is a
Idaho-Maryland Brunswick, all through the levels, I feel
myself personally, because I've been underground at the
There's a lot of talk about the water. I feel
and Brunswick workings were beneath them.
were beneath them or the 72 miles of the Idaho-Maryland
dry because 6,367 miles of Empire and Northstar workings
limits of Grass Valley. At that time no wells were going
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25 because I believe that you, as the Planning Commission,
is not come as an adversary, but as a friend of the City,
turned in the reasons for that. What I want to do tonight
opponent of the mine. And I have, like everyone else,
I have been a very aggressive and outspoken
I live on East Bennett Road.
BOB CLARK: Good evening. My name is Bob Clark.
--oOo--
down to, is money.
come down to the bottom line, that's what it all boils
any area is an improvement in value. If we're going to
neighbor's cesspool. I can see where treated water for
sanitary, drinkable water instead of drinking the
resolution up there by vote to get water from NID,
The water thing, Cement Hill, we passed a
I come from.
to meet pollution standards. That covers that from where
today are outlawed. They've got to be junked or renovated
the paper, if you'll read it, our forklifts that we run
Diesels, trucks, as they are today are outlawed. It's in
Now, back to the pollution thing again.
the jobs that would be created.
sarcastic, but it's pretty well covered. I'd like to see
pollution beyond Grass Valley. I don't mean to be
until Grass Valley opened it, that would reduce the
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25 the reduction of property values near the mine. Location
We should do a study on the economic impact on
liability.
the mine so that the City does not hang on to the
doing, any mitigation you should be able to try to pass to
citizenry of the area and put it in the EIR and, by so
agencies to identify. We should disclose that to the
additional traffic. It would be something easy from state
magnitude of injury, death, whatever, as a result of
We have yet to do a study to determine the
liability of that mitigation to the mine.
the mitigation is and, to the extent possible, pass on the
health concerns and impacts are. And try to identify what
EIR a study of what the possible health -- or probable
you're not going to stop the process, have included in the
cannot meet the air quality standards. As a minimum, if
something we want to carry forward with. By admission, we
not carry forward with something that is obviously not
to understand that you have an opportunity at this time to
But as a friend of the City, I would beseech you
information, et cetera.
feel for the confusion, the lack of straightforward
involved, and you obviously are now just starting to get a
in this process from the get-go. Some of you just became
have an opportunity. Some of you have not been involved
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25 not the sound calculations were correct. And they said,
took exception at one of the workshops as to whether or
you one very quick one, and it's an issue of sound. I
There are a lot of individual issues. I'll give
only less severe in the mind of the beholder.
when the word mitigation means make less severe. It's
that is kind of cast out as making everything all right
probable case, and the fact that mitigation is something
The fact that we do not have worst case, best case,
mining company. It's a mining permit seeking company.
the majority of the input from a company that's not a
the EIR and what it has today, and the fact that we accept
So my objections are not just problems within
people.
If the mine is worth it, let's disclose it. Let's tell
result in increases in those costs to our area residents.
issues. The usage of gas and electricity by the mine may
The same I think is true in terms of other
that financial liability and obligation.
that in the EIR could mean that the City then takes on
mine causes it, pass it on to the mine, for failure to do
EIR, the only mitigation of that is money. And if the
determining what that might be, by identifying it in the
to. I'm a tenth of a mile from one of the sites. But by
location location. Somebody can say anything they want
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25 take we take on more liability to the City.
process now because it's so obvious that every step we
I beseech you, as a friend, that we stop the
mind of the beholder.
will be a different standard. So mitigation is in the
When I call in to complain about the mine, it
complaints, then we'd probably take you in.
BOB CLARK: -- you know, but if there were more
THE CHAIRMAN: Okay, Mr. Clark.
but --
said: Well, it would be up to the officer's discretion,
below the county and city level, the maximum? And she
were complaints. Well -- so I said: What if I said it's
said: Well, we'd have to send an officer out if there
police department, understanding my question, basically
turned it on, what would happen? And the lady at the
volume, et cetera, and drove to a residential area and
the sounds of the mine, at the same number -- or the same
and I said: What if I made a recording that duplicated
So I called the Grass Valley Police Department
when the sound is going to come.
measures were not done at three o'clock in the morning
cover? Oh, yeah. Well, they're not in any of it. The
they affected by terrain, temperature, humidity, cloud
oh, yes, yes, that they were. And yet when I said are
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25 Building, every time we've went there, and the first time
Mr. Watkinson and ESA and the public meetings at the Love
word has completely gotten out yet because everything that
And to my mind, ladies and gentlemen, I don't think the
All I've been trying to do is get the word out.
the way forward for Grass Valley.
colossal project in the middle of town certainly is not
a lot to be gained from that, but opening a colossal,
tremendous gold industry history here, and I think there's
There's some wonderful old sentimentalists. We have some
stock in the mine. You know, I'm not living in the past.
got no economic incentive here. I don't own any penny
for the Arts public information mining panel. And I've
several letters published by The Union. I sat on a Center
You know, my only motivation in -- and I've had
proxy attack group for the Idaho-Maryland Mine.
at the Sierra Nevada Mining and Industry Council, the
another personal attack by one of those scurrilous rascals
today, and not from one of the articles I wrote, but
new future. And I have to say I got my name in The Union
president, hopefully a new direction, and the promise of a
tonight. I've had an auspicious today. We have a new
commissioners, and thank you for the opportunity to speak
GREGORY MARTIN: Good evening, fellow
--oOo--
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25 And it says -- excuse me. I have to get this here. And I
through it the first time it just kind of made me laugh.
And there's one here, I have to say, when I went
inadequate.
water impacts being totally, totally unacceptable and
Sierra Fund about the traffic impacts, about the hydro,
We've talked -- there's been a lot of discussion by The
information yet. I'll point you out a couple of sections
And I also -- basically, we don't have good
coming.
there will be some change in The Union that will be
issues. So I think that's unfortunate. I hope maybe
publish articles that are critical of some of the other
reporting. It's been very pro mine, and they won't even
and gentlemen, because they don't have fair and balanced
The Union has done us a disservice here, ladies
chemical/industrial property.
because it's right on the edge of this fantastically huge
I'm glad Cedar Ridge is involved. They're all involved
even up on Banner Mountain. I'm glad they're involved.
to think there won't be severe well impacts, and perhaps
we're going to dewater to 5,200 feet. And it's ludicrous
wells within 200 feet of the boundary of the mine, and
impacts -- because we have wells at 300 feet, we have
early on, we raised these issues about water and well
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25 different classes, two different issues, two different
cyanide in a liquid or a solid form, but that's two
in here anywhere. And they don't tell me whether it's
using a day? I don't know. It's not in here. It's not
of thousands of gallons of chemicals will the mine be
going to use four tons of explosives a day, how many tens
supersacks. That's 4,000 pounds apiece. And if they're
sodium cyanide would be transported in one- or two-ton
There's one discussion here, it says, let's see,
volume of chemicals of any kind that they're going to use.
in this whole document that tells me anything about the
commissioners, and I can't find one table or list anywhere
and the hazardous materials section, ladies and gentleman,
And here -- I also went through the chemicals
is in a relatively remote location?
spoken by the gentleman at Linear Dynamics (sic), but this
residents and businesses all along you've heard well
across from the main town of Grass Valley. There's
Remote location? Am I mistaken here? This is immediately
I couldn't write stuff any better than that.
location."
evacuation plan because of its relatively remote
with implementation of an existing emergency response or
study found that the proposed project would not interfere
quote. I'm at page 4.6.12. And it says, "The initial
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25 So I thank you for the time. I had some other
fatally poor project.
they're going to store it. And that's just, just a
how they're going to transport it. And I don't know how
don't know how they're going to handle it. I don't know
don't know how much of anything they're going to use. I
about the water treatment; nothing about the retention. I
the gold process, the size, volume, chemicals; nothing
There's nothing about the treatment regimen for
the hard questions. Why don't I have this information?
so don't take this at face value. Look behind it and ask
are guardians of the public trust, ladies and gentlemen,
and the Sierra Nevada Mining and Industry Council. So you
calculated misinformation effort by Watkinson, the mine,
an, oops, I forgot to put it in thing. This is a
engineer and attorney for 35 years, that this isn't just
Now, this brings me up, as an environmental
anywhere.
the size of this chemical monstrosity. It's not in here
project? And my whole thing has been get the word about
a day. It's not in here. How can you evaluate the
gallons of this a day, we will be using five tons of this
is there anything that lists we will be using 10,000
Nowhere in this document, ladies and gentlemen,
uses and handling.
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25 everything should be mitigatable to keep this process
commercial vehicles on the road. At this point,
the trucks going to and from the mine may be the only
by the time the Idaho-Maryland Mine is open and operating
traffic right now caused by the present economic downturn,
Idaho-Maryland Mine, if we should judge by the decreased
Regarding the truck traffic concerns for the
hard act to follow, but my response will be genuine.
on Rockwood Drive in Grass Valley. That is going to be a
CAROL MARSHALL: I'm Carol Marshall, and I live
--oOo--
I'm with Linear Dynamics. Thank you very much.
gentlemen. With all due respect to the sentimentalists,
catastrophic blunder if you approve it, ladies and
GREGORY MARTIN: I just think this would be a
THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Martin, wrap it up, please.
applicant?
dealing with a, you know, potentially borderline insolvent
to continue as an ongoing concern." How come are we
states "substantial doubt about the ability of the company
a current cash on hand value of $400,000. And the report
Emgold, listed a capital deficit of 42 million dollars and
December 5th, 2008, Idaho-Maryland Mine Corporation, for
SCE filings, Securities Exchange Commission, on
points, but I'd just like to say that -- and lastly, in
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25 protection, are impacted by the mine and need to be paid
particularly public safety services such as fire
of the DEIR because, for example, public services,
Second, the economic report affects other parts
they are to make their decisions about the mine.
Commission and the public need accurate information if
the DEIR to be realistic. The City Council, the Planning
I think it's important for the economic data in
Valley.
comments. I'm Todd Kaplan, 115 Horizon Circle in Grass
TODD KAPLAN: Thank you for listening to my
--oOo--
better. Thank you very much.
a fast track to make up for lost time would be even
permits issued and to move forward in a timely manner, but
comment time. The Draft EIR needs to be approved and
Please, no more delays, no more extensions for
any kind, so mining could take place in the future.
the minerals would be protected against encroachment of
Nevada County General Plan. These laws were allocated so
objectives of the Mineral Management and Land Use of the
I would like to refer to goals, policies and
should not be so controversial.
priority in Nevada County so this particular project
going forward. Mineral extraction was meant to be a
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25 anticipate covering our roads with ceramic tile I think we
ceramic tile in the United States. So unless we
13,000, will consume 1.6 percent of the total supplies of
Ceramics assumes Grass Valley, with a population of
annual statistical report. This means Golden Bear
billion dollars, according to Floor Covering Weekly's 2008
In 2007, the U.S. ceramic tile sales were 2.7
fact, that number is much too high.
sales every year to Grass Valley seems much too high, in
think about it, that 42 million dollars of ceramic tile
42 million dollars of ceramic tile per year. And if you
first it assumes retail stores in Grass Valley will sell
ceramic tile. Where did this number come from? Well,
predicts local sales tax of up to $420,000 per year from
There's a Table A.6 of the economic analysis which
So first I'll talk about the sales taxes.
to justify these statements.
It used too many assumptions and did too little research
but, unfortunately, the economic analysis is inadequate.
written statements, but I'll spare you those right now --
property and sales taxes -- there's some excerpts from my
assumes in multiple areas that there will be increased
increased taxes to pay for the other services. The DEIR
enforcement. So the City is, therefore, relying on
for. Mitigation measure 4.11.3 only mentions law
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25 in three years. I'm guessing they made these numbers
the total U.S. ceramics market and growing to 16 percent
Ceramics estimates immediately capturing eight percent of
the sales are local, as the table says, then Golden Bear
better. Going through the same math, if ten percent of
The rest of Table A.6 on ceramic tiles isn't any
would not necessarily increase sales tax revenue at all.
Replacing other ceramic tile with Golden Bear Ceramics'
ceramics sold here will generate sales tax revenue.
420,000. But even this number is too high because any
little over $1,000, not -- what was it again? Yeah,
yearly local sales tax from Golden Bear Ceramics of a
captures 100 percent of the local market, we can expect
So generously assuming Golden Bear Ceramics
retail, and doesn't generate sales tax.
sell tile wholesale, which would be at a discount over
would make no sense because Golden Bear Ceramics plans to
developers will buy tile from retail stores here, but that
million dollars. Now, it's possible that out of region
if you do the math, is about $108,000, which is not 42
In this case we would roughly estimate really local sales,
population relative to the U.S. population of 300 million.
ceramic tile demand would be proportional to its small
It's far more realistic to assume Grass Valley's
need to revisit these numbers.
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25 may be separate companies, and yet are closely linked
time this project is approved the mine and ceramics plant
And finally, on a fairly unrelated note, by the
funding to Grass Valley to mitigate its impact.
to enforce if these operations do not provide adequate
closing down either operation is a very difficult option
uproar that might be created if the plant shut down,
and ceramics plant is unable to pay the City? Given the
receiving enough money to pay for the services if the mine
measures are there to assure that Grass Valley is
not profitable or perhaps losing money, what mitigation
operation of the ceramics plant, and perhaps the mine, is
Number three, given the likelihood that the
generated by the ceramics plant?
to reflect what is likely a much lower amount of revenue
plan is very unrealistic. Could we modify the jobs data
estimates by Golden Bear Ceramics, it means their business
Number two, if the data reflects good faith
conclusions in the EIR?
the more realistic number percolate down through the
researched and redone so it is more realistic, and could
predicted by Table A.6, could Table A.6 be carefully
Given the huge and unrealistic amount of revenue
but that's just speculation. So my questions are:
because they had to do something with all those tailings,
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25 be defined in detail and presented initially so that the
All references to future plans and BMPs need to
appropriate.
project of this magnitude and impact, it's simply not
presumably be filled at some point in the future. For a
well articulated plans leaves gaping holes that will
creating a plan from a plan. The omission of specific,
to identify problem areas. This technique is, in essence,
however, no further substance when specifying mitigations
best management practices, BMPs. In these cases there is,
instances, the Draft EIR refers only to future plans and
The first is lack of specific plans. In many
EIR I'd like to talk about.
from Grass Valley, and I have three comments on the Draft
LARRY HOFFMAN: Good evening. I'm Larry Hoffman
--oOo--
very much.
responsible for their environmental impacts? Thank you
mitigation measures clearly hold each entity separately
lawyer so this is just a suggestion here -- can all
say the mine was responsible. Therefore -- I'm not a
needed for law enforcement while the ceramics plant could
ceramics plant was responsible for the bulk of the revenue
consequences. For example, the mine could say the
together in the DEIR. This could have dangerous legal
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25 City does not acknowledge and address the impact of the
accountability should future damages be sought. If the
similarly lacking and opens up the question of
Risk assessment and other mitigation areas are
lacking in the current Draft EIR.
those that are currently healthy? This information is
of air degradation have on these individuals, as well as
other respiratory conditions. What effect will the level
groups, especially young children, suffer from asthma and
and retired individuals. Many of these and other age
Our community is largely populated with elderly
health.
degraded air quality despite its diverse effects on our
us living in the area will just have to endure the
those living nearby. One is left to assume that those of
finding that reveals the potential impact to the health of
However, there's no risk assessment or analysis of this
quality will be compromised and cannot be mitigated.
assessment. The Draft EIR clearly acknowledges that air
The second concern is the lack of risk
It's not one that CEQA recognizes.
plan or practice will be enacted is not a mitigation.
decide if they're adequate. Stating that a forthcoming
be addressed. Without that level of detail, no one can
community can understand exactly how each mitigation will
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25 system has cost the City millions of dollars and greatly
The breach of the mine shaft in the City's water
accept any responsibility in the matter.
Maybe the plan was to let the City sue rather than try to
company's disaster recovery planning. Maybe it was.
that clearly should have been spelled out in that
lawsuit against the Newmont Mine Corporation for an event
reopening of the mine on the same day it's pursuing a
Valley is preparing to finalize the Draft EIR for
It seems a bit ironic that the City of Grass
individually and jointly respond.
Corporation and the City of Grass Valley would
there any evidence of how the Idaho-Maryland Mine
or worse, and other catastrophic events occurring, nor is
acknowledgment of the possibility of potential disasters
and most likely best case outlook. There's no
Idaho-Maryland Mine is presented in a business as usual
In the Draft EIR the development and operation of the
My third point is the lack of disaster planning.
given due diligence in the decision-making process.
risks are clearly documented, assessed, and ultimately
is in our collective best interest to make sure that all
action lawsuits could at some point bankrupt the City. It
should it be held accountable? Individual and class
health and safety of its citizens, to what degree can and
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25 is Dan Barber. I represent a family that has been in the
DAN BARBER: Thank you, commissioners. My name
--oOo--
tool for City leaders. Thank you.
final EIR will be a better (inaudible) decision-making
commitment. By addressing these comments, I believe the
Corporation is financially capable of meeting that
liability and ensure that the Idaho-Maryland Mining
also needs to spell out the magnitude of potential
potential disasters and worse case scenarios as well. It
not just a portrait of business as usual at the mine, but
The final EIR for this project needs to include
and EIRs.
intentions and seemingly well-structured plans, projects
that man-made disasters can and do occur despite best
recent Tennessee Valley coal ash spill illustrate the fact
spills, the Three Mile Island incident, and the most
and the environment. The Valdez and Santa Barbara oil
indelible marks on individual citizens, entire communities
has been responsible for disasters that have left
Throughout recent history, mining and industry
appropriately.
disasters that need to be identified and planned for
plant, and yet it's only one of many specific instances of
affected the operational costs that we pay for our sewage
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25 There's never a perfect plan for the future. We
forward with this process.
must reflect that enough is enough. It's time to move
that there will be enforcement by the agencies. I, too,
of the Clean Water Act, open the door to public assurance
criminal laws, as well as the citizens lawsuit provisions
much as anybody else, but I believe that the civil and
I have grandkids. I worry about their health as
citizens.
them, and I've seen the effect on protecting us as
bringing bad operators into compliance or getting rid of
laws for 30 some years. I have seen the effect on
provide for scientific oversight. I've worked with these
me some solace is that there are very effective laws to
addressed, but I think that one of the things that gives
time, many of these issues have been brought out and are
This Draft EIR has been given an extension of
too.
There are a lot of emotions. There's a lot of science,
watched as this process has evolved in Grass Valley.
As a civil engineer and an environmental engineer, I've
years. I'm a professional engineer with graduate degrees.
Placer County. I have been in Placer County for 30 some
I do not live in the immediate area. I live in
area for five generations in Northern California.
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25 water is picked up on the Pearl Barnes Ditch. Now, when
down in the south end of the county near Wolf Road, and my
So I rely on, I rely on the irrigation. I'm
as you can see, there hasn't been any rain for 15 days.
last part of February. Now, I should be planting now but,
would have -- 30 years ago I was planting trees in the
drier. I rely more and more on irrigation. I normally
that the weather is getting drier. Our county is getting
observer of weather for the last 30 years, I can tell you
-- I don't know, I haven't read the report. But as an
And something that may not have been brought up
been doing this for 30 years.
operate Coenen Hill Tree Farm, Christmas Tree Farm. I've

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