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Author Topic:   Planning Commission Meeting - January 20, 2009 IMMC2
Barb
Administrator
posted 07-28-2009 09:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Barb   Click Here to Email Barb     Edit/Delete Message
DONN COENEN: Hi, my name is Donn Coenen. I
--oOo--
a step in the right direction. Thank you.
see this as not a solution to all of our problems, but as
citizen, but frankly I'm scared about the economy. And I
So I just say these things as a concerned
I think it's time to take some action and move forward.
federal-wise and state-wise when it comes to the economy,
in today's economy and our concerns about where we are
to effectively deal with the problems as they occur, and
future is a big unknown. With the tools that are in place
can have 20/20 hindsight and look backwards, but the
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25 County. Most of us are parents with young kids, and we're
that come together to work towards cleaner air in Nevada
Nevada County. We're a local nonprofit group of citizens
And I'm a member of the board of Save the Air in
live on Alta Street in Grass Valley.
PAUL FREDERICKSON: I'm Paul Frederickson. I
--oOo--
make those comments. Thanks a lot.
water. That's what I was looking at. So I just wanted to
when the mines were operating, a guaranteed supply of
sufficiently clean, I would have, again, as in the past
If the mine was operating and the water was
down to me where it picks up on the Pearl Barnes Ditch.
because they have to dump water into Wolf Creek to get it
year again, and I'm not guaranteed water anymore from NID
demands on water. We could be on the edge of a drought
out of Wolf Creek. We're going to have more and more
water if it's cleaned properly. I'd like to use the water
From my standpoint, I would like to use the
the county.
Ditch, and irrigates all those farms at the south end of
was put into Wolf Creek, picked up by the Pearl Barnes
because the mines were operating at the time and the water
of Wolf Creek. NID didn't actually provide any water
that was put in, Pearl Barnes Ditch picks up the water off
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25 (or incorrectly quantifies) important emissions from the
the project has been provided, the EIR fails to identify
portion of the DEIR. To the extent that a description of
"There are numerous serious deficiencies in this
air quality portions of the DEIR:
sources. Here's Tamura Environmental's assessment of the
emissions of criteria pollutants from numerous specific
incorrectly assesses, or fails to assess at all, the
which are known to cause cancer. The DEIR is -- also
contaminants that will be used by the proposed project and
from, a number of hazardous air pollutants and toxic air
quantify the emissions of, and assess the associated risks
Among many other problems, the DEIR fails to
inaccurate.
air quality parts of the DEIR are incomplete or
review identifies 23 specific technical areas where the
respected consulting firm on air quality matters. This
portions of the DEIR by Tamura Environmental, a nationally
comments included a technical review of the air quality
formally submitted written comments on the DEIR. These
Earlier today Save the Air in Nevada County
Environmental Impact Report that I'll read.
opportunity to present some comments to you on the Draft
it has on their health. And I'd like to thank you for the
very concerned about the impact of our air pollution, that
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25 aging, and reduced lung function, increased
increased incidents of childhood asthma, accelerated lung
Association, repeated exposure to ozone can lead to
California Air Resources Board and the American Lung
we have here in Nevada County. According to the EPA, the
hazards of breathing air with high levels of ozone such as
ozone air pollution, which does not address the long-term
incomplete description of the health impacts caused by
1. The DEIR contains a very brief and
be. So here are a few of our concerns.
on it and what the impact on our children's health will
air pollution problem and the impact this mine will have
on this project, we need to know the current state of our
health. Obviously, in order to make an informed decision
ongoing ozone air pollution problem and its impact on our
effect of minimizing the severity of our community's
several aspects of the DEIR that collectively have the
Our organization is also highly concerned about
therefore inadequate with respect to air quality issues."
description ... In summary, the DEIR is incomplete and
inadequate with regard to providing a complete project
with those regulations. We also find that the DEIR is
and fails to identify mitigation measures that will comply
fails to identify significant applicable air regulations,
project, has deficient analyses of the emissions impacts,
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25 Status, it incorrectly states that Nevada County is
4. In Table 4.2-3, Nevada County Attainment
between 66 and 87 days.
the California 8-hour standard, which is not shown, varies
However, for these same years the number of days exceeding
between 13 and 25 days for the years 2002 to 2006.
8-hour standard as currently shown in the DEIR varies
example, the number of exceedance days of the old federal
problem appear to be less severe than it actually is. For
standard. This makes Grass Valley's ozone air pollution
California 8-hour ozone standard or the new federal 8-hour
concentrations measured at Grass Valley exceed the
not present the number of days that the ozone
3. Table 4.2-1, Air Quality Data Summary, does
since the early 1990s.
been continuously in nonattainment of these standards
established for the protection of public health, and has
nonattainment of both state and federal ozone standards
state the fact that Western Nevada County is currently in
Air Quality in the Project Vicinity does not explicitly
2. The section of the DEIR entitled Existing
permanent.
children's respiratory systems may be lasting and
There's mounting evidence that the damage ozone causes to
hospitalizations, and elevated premature mortality rates.
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25 the results in favor of, you know, things that look okay.
and biased by the assumptions that are designed to skew
fraudulent. The carcinogen exposure studies are skewed
In my opinion, the DEIR is shoddy and even
us.
date, and who's to say how much Emgold could possibly cost
cost this city approximately three million dollars to
Mining. You know, we all know that Newmont Mining has
guess we can attest to its effectiveness with Newmont
I keep hearing the term modern mining, and I
from UC Davis with a minor in urban planning.
I have a degree in environmental planning and management
I'm a resident here in Grass Valley, the Cedar Crest area.
MELVIN SHIMADA: Hi, my name is Melvin Shimada.
--oOo--
review and comment. Thank you very much.
undergo further public scrutiny with opportunities for
its present form and a new DEIR must be prepared and
are so serious and widespread that it must be rejected in
it is our firm opinion that the deficiencies in the DEIR
especially the technical review by Tamura Environmental,
In view of the above comments, and most
nonattainment of the state 8-hour standard.
ozone standard when, in fact, Nevada County is in
unclassified with respect to the state 8-hour average
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25 we're risking that.
to create, we lose the backbone of the community. And
And if we lose the ambience that has taken 50 plus years
leaving Grass Valley. The tourist trade is critical here.
due to the people moving out of Grass Valley, businesses
The DEIR does not address the loss in revenues
windshield breaking, nerve wracking, rolling roadblock.
18-wheeled, diesel smoke spewing, rock dropping,
Everywhere you go you'll be stuck behind an 18-wheeler, an
carcinogens, the rumbling trucks, the nasty traffic.
life will be impacted by the air pollution, the added
There's no statement as to how our quality of
mitigated. I hope that helps in your decision.
our air quality will suffer and that it will not be
will suffer and it cannot be mitigated. We're told that
quality will suffer. We're only told that the air quality
There's no indication of how much our air
community.
the cars as well, as they go rumbling through our
trips per year from the vehicles, not just the trucks but
repair costs, the increase in lung disease, the 584,000
substance. I didn't see anything in reference to road
The traffic impact studies really don't have any
those studies.
Last time I was here I explained how they skewed some of
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25 good at all, but, to me, that's the wrong reason to be
adequacy of a report. Now, I don't think this report is
To me, it's just ludicrous that we're commenting on the
debate the merits of the mine, or the pros and the cons.
take issue with that. My thoughts are we're here to
statements pertaining to the adequacy of the DEIR, and I
The Planning Commission has asked that we make
are. To me, that's fraudulent.
and yet they can draw maps that show exactly where they
Nobody really knows where those impacts are or will be,
you cannot really tell where those impacts will be.
drawn on maps, but also hidden in the DEIR it states that
impacts on wells will be, and a lot of those impacts are
fraudulent. There were statements made as to where the
I was saying that the DEIR is fraudulent. Yes,
are just getting laid off right and left.
know that construction isn't doing well at all. People
business in times of a recession. And right now we all
profitable business -- I mean an extremely competitive
think they do. They want to go into an extremely
wrong, they don't really know how to make tile. They just
so well right now. And these folks, correct me if I'm
construction-related industry. Construction is not doing
manufacturing and jobs. Well, as I recall, tile is a
The mine has made the dubious promise of tile
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25 the City to delay further consideration of the IMM project
tile factory that would be inside our city limits. I urge
industrial mine project within city limits, from a large
protect the citizens of this community from a heavy
As planning commissioners, it is your duty to
drive down our highways proves this DEIR's inadequacy.
water users, and many people who will be affected as they
professionals, many Grass Valley citizens, many downstream
project is inadequate. The statements from many
The Draft Environmental Impact Report for this
water user and farmer in Penn Valley.
MIKE PASNER: I'm Mike Pasner. I'm a downstream
--oOo--
(Recess taken.)
with a basically bankrupt Emgold.
doing business with -- or the impact of doing business
address the economic impact on the City or the area of
there's a lack of a specific plan. The DEIR does not
the water replacement if your well goes dry. And again,
economic impact study. There's no realistic solution to
There's been no seismic study. There's no comprehensive
here for a reason. This report needs to be redone.
The procedure in place to have this report to be redone is
The DEIR is fatally flawed. It's fraudulent.
here.
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25 comments here. Personally, if the project happens, I have
hat into my personal hat. These are not the agency's
And now I'm going to step out of my Air District
lifts and whatnot.
truly significant mitigation. That would be rails and
underground operations because that would really be a
proposed alternative involving the electrification of the
the Air District would like to see more discussion of the
The one thing I'm just going to mention is that
something that ought to be in there.
looked at, if it's not. Since NOx is brown it's just
just mention it, is visibility. Regional haze ought to be
I looked at it for many hours -- but I should probably
here that I don't remember looking up in the draft EIR --
there's one thing that I thought of while I was sitting
comments on the project, and pursuant to CEQA. And
Today we submitted fairly substantial written
least some aspects.
project, meaning that we have permitting authority over at
Air District is the responsible agency under CEQA of this
Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District, and the
SAM LONGMIRE: I'm Sam Longmire. I work at the
--oOo--
that fully complies with CEQA. Thank you.
until the City prepares and recirculates a revised DEIR
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25 the Impacts of Mining, also knowing as CLAIM-GV.
I'm speaking here tonight on behalf of Citizens Looking at
Ralph Silberstein, and I'm a resident of Grass Valley.
RALPH SILBERSTEIN: Good evening. My name is
--oOo--
cool? Thank you.
with the thought of CSU Grass Valley. Doesn't that sound
Those are my main comments, and I'll leave you
experiments, and there's all kinds of reasons it's good.
subterranean lab space, which is good for some physics
for the local money flow. And it would provide
sustainable, you know, and different, but definitely good
economy. We could switch from the mining to something
it has the setup, and it could be good for the local
could be. You know, it's been a mine for many years, and
opportunity, what a great learning opportunity the mine
management especially. And, you know, what a great
have a lack of natural resource programs, natural resource
I've noticed that the CSU and UC system really
perhaps CSU or UC.
post-mining fate of the land to be dedicating it to
that in the Draft EIR as part of the reclamation plan,
system. At least I think that would be great to look at
that involves dedicating it to the California University
this idea. I would love to see post-project reclamation
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25 water quality and supply, energy use and human health,
mitigate the project's serious impacts to air quality,
Draft EIR fails to adequately disclose, analyze and
The actual project is not clearly defined. The
it's hard to even touch upon them in a reasonable time.
are so many problems with this version of the EIR that
conclusion. This Draft EIR is totally inadequate. There
reviewed the Draft EIR document and have formulated a
assistance of various experts, we have extensively
our volunteer members, our all volunteer board, and the
As of today, January 20th, in conjunction with
fashion. However, unfortunately this is not the case.
cons of this project in a comprehensive and democratic
we could honestly begin to actually address the pros and
reviewing a very thorough and complete document and that
publication of the Draft EIR, we thought we would be
the time of the revised project's submission and the
Given that more than a year has passed between
that people can formulate their own opinions.
provide as much information as possible about the mine so
that the best service we can offer to the community is to
a good fit for our community. However, we also believe
CLAIM-GV feel that the Idaho-Maryland Mine project is not
impacts of reopening the Idaho-Maryland Mine. We at
Our group formed out of concern about the
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25 lead agency to evaluate the impacts of a project upon the
The purpose of an EIR is to allow the community and the
totally inadequate in meeting the requirements of CEQA.
Essentially, we have found that the Draft EIR is
CLAIM-GV's website at www.claim-gv.org.
The public can access a copy of this document on
and have been submitted to the Planning Department today.
prepared by Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, Attorneys at Law,
comments are contained within this 25-page document
and in conformance with CEQA guidelines. Our formal
presented in a relevant and effective manner under the law
retained legal counsel to make sure our comments are
possible job in representing our community, we have
Because CLAIM-GV really wants to do the best
that would decrease the project's impacts.
upon that conclusion and avoids considering alternatives
to less than significant. Analysis relies too heavily
unsupported conclusion that most impacts will be mitigated
CLAIM-GV is highly troubled by the Draft EIR's
another day.
the draft postpones real analysis and mitigation for
the project's environmental impacts. Over and over again
the draft obscures details and underplays the severity of
project's significant consequences in a realistic manner,
among many others. Instead of grappling with the
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25 impacted air quality, I believe.
Sacramento, but it's irresponsible to add to the already
sources of the pollution are from San Francisco and
community. And, yes, the sources of -- the primary
be your child or your grandchild, because we're a
asthma in our community. And it's my child, but it could
asthma. It's a fact that we have increased levels of
It's a fact that ozone levels contribute to
child is affected by our already impacted ozone levels.
gentleman, but I feel pretty close, and I'm a mother whose
and a half miles from the mine, not as close as a previous
the environment and the opening of the mine. I live two
children, and they speak to me about their concerns about
I work with hundreds of families with young
business here.
am an active member of my community, and I have a thriving
Keeling, and I live in Grass Valley. I shop locally. I
ANN KEELING: Good evening. My name is Ann
--oOo--
guidelines. Thank you.
revised Draft EIR that fully complies with CEQA and CEQA
unless and until the City prepares and recirculates a
further considerations of the Idaho-Maryland Mine project
Therefore, in conclusion, CLAIM-GV urges the City to delay
environment. This document fails in this respect.
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25 our economic concerns. The children of our community
intelligent. We can find healthier solutions regarding
know in this community are talented, creative and
greed. I appeal to your sense of integrity. The people I
Our new president speaks of integrity over
a community that we dearly, dearly love.
And if the mine opens, we're seriously considering leaving
air quality and they're waiting to see if the mine opens.
making plans, but they're on hold because of our impacted
families that I know would like to move here; they're
and health impact studies in the report. Neither are two
efforts, the lack of accurate information, risk assessment
the air. I'm not satisfied with the listed mitigation
said, and I believe that, but I don't know how we dilute
The solution to pollution is dilution someone
mitigation how?
It's expensive to mitigate. Emgold will pay for
wildlife, environment, people and especially children.
mitigate air pollution, to mitigate the effects of
hazardous waste disposal, to mitigate water pollution, to
less hostile? I don't want actions just to mitigate
is that enough? Are you satisfied with that, just to be
To mitigate means to become less hostile, less harsh. And
mitigation is a word used throughout the DEIR document.
And as pointed out previously several times,
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25 coughing, not being able to catch their breath, knowing
and I have sat there listening to them all night long,
lungs out, when the ozone has peaked. I mean, my husband
there have been times when my children are hacking their
During the warmer months when ozone is highest,
described?
in the DEIR. And what if they are worse than what are
considering reopening the mine with the effects described
last year, I find it hard to believe we are even
kids. After Grass Valley hosted the Air Quality Summit
toxic air load of the mine itself, and how it affects my
concerns regarding pollution caused by the trucks and the
quality effect on the health of children. I have major
In addition, the DEIR does not address the air
drinking chlorinated and fluoridated water.
to deliver treated water. I do not want my family
is well water. In case of dewatering, the mitigation is
of the elements of rural living that we were drawn to here
possible well dewatering that has not been addressed. One
First I'd like to speak about a point about the
speak on behalf of their health and our future.
my two-year-old and six-year-old to bed, I am here to
DENISE REYNOLDS: Instead of being home putting
--oOo--
deserve it. Thank you.
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25 Community Alliance and a contractor. I live here in Grass
in Grass Valley, and I'm the president of the Wolf Creek
JONATHAN KEEHN: Hi, I'm Jonathan Keehn. I live
--oOo--
community, we have the choice to say no.
community and destroy the beauty of our town. As a
economy. We do not have to allow them to exploit our
short-sighted. This is not the way to build a sustainable
I believe the idea of reopening of this mine is
irresponsible.
this mine is going to have on ozone levels it is
considering it. And if we are not looking at what impact
that they love this community, and many more who are
because of the existing ozone levels, despite the fact
least a dozen families who have moved out of this area
move for the health of our children. I already know at
quality is impacted throughout the year, we will have to
summer months somewhere else. If the mine reopens and air
So we've mitigated that by spending our school
and the area.
want to leave because we love this community, the people
we researched communities, and we decided that we didn't
community because of that. And we researched schools and
we didn't get them inside. And we looked to leave the
that that day the ozone peaked and we didn't know it and
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25 evaluation of this contamination has already been made, it
surface contamination due to prior uses. So if the
is a lack of consideration of any -- of the potential
where significant surface developments would occur, there
In the discussion of the New Brunswick site,
decontamination method would be applied.
including how, when and where which specific
should be amended to treat these issues more thoroughly,
methods proposed to decontaminate the site. The DEIR
extent and types of the contamination found and the
planning, one would expect a clear description of the
specifics of the decontamination plan. After a decade of
little information is provided in the DEIR regarding the
project to the local residents, we find it unusual that so
placed on this activity in attempting to describe the
process and the emphasis that the project proponents have
contaminated site. But given the importance of this
the site from an under-utilized and environmentally
rehabilitating the historic mine workings, to transform
One of the major project objectives is stated as
project description.
couple of items from it, mainly from chapter two on the
multi-page letter today, but I just wanted to read a
I wanted to -- our group has submitted a
Valley, have lived in Nevada County for about 35 years.
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25 finding its way to Wolf Creek? This is just an issue that
untreated water is recharging the aquifer and eventually
Where did it go? Should we assume that this toxic,
the disposition of this 150 gallons that is being lost?
after -- it has to be added back in as makeup. What is
it's not clear, it's not clear what happens to that water
actually quite a lot of water, 150 gallons a minute. And
gallons a minute wasn't very much water, but that is
quote. It was mentioned that way, indicating that 150
And it's interesting -- that's the end of the
the gold processing plant.
gallons per minute would be required for makeup water for
that -- this is a quotation: It is estimated that 150
water. This is kind of confusing but: It is estimated
required and would also be drawn from the treated mine
the process continuously, but makeup water would be
All recovered processed water would be recycled back into
contained in the tailings from the gold process plant.
of processed water would be through water that is
mining. Chapter two, page 34, states that: The only loss
has to do with the discharge of processed water from
areas that we have found in the DEIR. Another one is --
These are just a couple of examples of confusing
needs to be undertaken.
should be included in the DEIR. And if it's not, then it
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25 So, anyhow, I was asked by the Banner Mountain
my intent.
not trying to blindside the mine group at all. It's not
what a concern might be, I would share that because I'm
personnel at festivals. And whenever I had an idea as to
And then since then I have seen the various
water predictions for dewatering, back in '95.
over and put me through the presentation on what is the
Guenther, who approached me with a phone call, to have me
great experience to be introduced to Emperor Gold, to Ross
first of all, I've been here since 1995. And I had the
balanced. Let me tell you what's really going on -- well,
probably should strike that. It wasn't very well
quoted today in our news, in our newspaper, so you
And I was one of the 200 geologists that was
City. I'm up on Banner Mountain.
and my address is 13975 Wings of Morning Drive in Nevada
STEVE BAKER: Yes, hi there. I'm Steve Baker,
--oOo--
So thank you.
revised and recirculated before the process is continued.
must respectfully ask that it either be withdrawn or
group believes that this EIR is seriously flawed, and we
So, anyway, I have to say that at this stage our
is not addressed, or it's not clarified.
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25 investigation on that, and we get the corner of the puzzle
this particular mine. So we throw the best hydrogeologic
that puzzle is whatever the impacts are going to be of
and buy a 5,000 piece puzzle. Okay? And the picture on
And so I would use the analogy of go to Kmart
Mountain. And so it's tough to find that out.
They usually do, but not always, certainly not on Banner
some water for you. I mean, they can if they're lucky.
when you go up to a driller and ask them if they can find
and whose will not be. And that can be further understood
the adequate resolution whose well is going to be affected
hydrogeology is not that good, technically, to describe at
the best science that we have. Unfortunately,
the document describes the hydrogeologic environment with
Now, if we talk about the water availability,
to use that water.
And lastly, we have to have a water right that allows us
water quality. It has to be of a quality we can drink.
availability. It has to be there. And second is the
affect somebody's water supply. One is water
Now, basically, there's three ways you can
would affect the wells.
but through a narrow scope. I was looking at how this
really -- I reviewed everything related to hydrogeology,
Homeowners Association to comment on this. And so I
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25 another hole, hopefully deepen it and find some water
potable, then we've lost our supply. We have to drill
And if it's so bad that the water is no longer
because the flow paths have changed.
could now be producing bad quality water in our home
standards, even of those naturally occurring things. We
always good for us, we can exceed the drinking water
that's high in iron or other things that aren't, you know,
And so if the new flow path now brings water
underneath the ground. The flow paths are different.
changed its dynamic. You've now changed how things flow
-- if you create a dewatering scenario, you have now
water, it's not just losing the physical water. It's the
the EIR is, if you're talking about a well that lost its
Water quality, one thing that was omitted from
unknown as far as the water availability. It really is.
you know, they say also we really don't know. So it's an
ago -- a very good document, no complaints there -- but,
often a Todd Engineers document that was done a year or so
And so even in the document it references quite
going to happen when we dewater this huge area.
that I don't really have a clear picture as to what is
look at what's available through hydrogeology, you find
fragmented, put together. But when you sit back and you
a little bit. Maybe a piece here, a piece there is
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25 lose our groundwater rights. The strongest groundwater
Okay. Lastly, prescriptive right. We could
water that they need.
to have a methodology that will provide people with the
sounds like they do want to work with people, but we have
my water and the mine is not willing to work -- and it
can only say that from a functional standpoint, if I lose
how that would play out in court I'm not really sure. I
infringement of other people's groundwater rights. Now,
when that happens, if someone else is affected, that's an
affecting people other than just the mine property. And
Now, the issue with dewatering the mine is it's
Okay?
reasonable in its use. In other words, I'm not wasting.
it's been official in its use, on my property, and it's
groundwater because it's public groundwater, as long as
can have a well on my property, and I'm allowed to use the
it means is you -- we have 10 acres at our property. I
called the California overlying groundwater right. What
here in the hills has a very strong groundwater right
in the document. In California, a person who lives up
Lastly, water rights, it's not even talked about
circumstances that people would be dialing with.
and who is not is not broad enough to encompass all those
that's clean. So really the definition of who's affected
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25 However, I do rise tonight to speak in favor of
Idaho-Maryland Mining Corporation.
no ties, financial or otherwise, with either Emgold or the
house in which I was reared. I speak for myself and have
Valley in 1994 and reside at 10383 Alta Street, the same
FAA in Washington, D.C. My wife and I moved back to Grass
1990 until 1994, I was the director of security for the
United States Marine Corps, from 1955 until 1990. From
Steele. For 35 years I served as an infantryman in the
ORLO STEELE: Good evening. My name is Orlo
--oOo--
will take some money. Thank you.
most of the concerns, but it will take contingencies. It
fill in. And there are mitigations in here that satisfy
check that there really are some concerns, some things to
detail, much more so, but I'm trying to add a reality
You can always refer to the document. I have it down in
And so these are just some of the real things.
of it.
property, at least at one point, but we no longer have use
prescription. Now we have water possibly beneath our
the strongest overlying right that we have will be lost to
use and satisfy the legal litmus test, we will find that
prescriptive right. And that's because if we extend this
right there is, and we could lose it through a
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25 enroll as a freshman at Stanford. For my labors as a
blasted out of that winze until it came time for me to
months, six days a week, I mucked the ore that my miner
skinner was Joe Cortez. For the next three and a half
name of Norman Wasley and our mucker -- and our mule
level. My miner was a second generation Cornishman by the
to sink a winze down off the front at the 5,000 foot
I was part of a three-man team that was assigned
minute.
Empire shaft on a man-skip at the rate of 600 feet per
hardrock miners, soon found myself descending the main
clocked in as a mucker and, along with about 70 crusty
the Empire Mine. By 7:00 a.m., at age 17, I had been
Monday morning I reported to the day shift boss to work at
first week of June in 1950. At 6:00 a.m the following
Grass Valley High School on a Friday night during the
the Hennessy Grammar School and graduated from
was nine. I attended the fifth through eight grades at
My family moved to Grass Valley in 1942, when I
not.
not wipe me off as just another old sentimentalist. I am
among the dinosaurs that may be here tonight. Please do
be satisfactorily mitigated. I do not mind being ranked
the remaining key issues identified in the Draft EIR can
reopening the Idaho-Maryland Mine. I firmly believe that
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25 only be classified as either emotional hyperbole,
considerable number of statements that could and should
substantive comments, but additionally I also hear a
I've heard a number of presentations that offer very
weeks ago, as well as the one here tonight. To be sure,
you in your task. I was present at your first meeting two
sit on the commission, I must tell you that I do not envy
To you, Mr. Chairman, and to your colleagues who
Nevada County.
attribute to my good fortune to having come of age in
any success that I might have enjoyed as a U.S. Marine I
characters, benefited me for years thereafter. Indeed,
people, some of whom were some great, unforgettable
gained from working for and alongside a host of wonderful
the four years of college, but also the experience I
Not only did the pay cover my expenses during
jobs involved hard work, but I was grateful to have them.
Creek Sawmill located in North Columbia. All of these
stacking green lumber at the Sheffner brothers' Grizzly
earning 16 to 20 dollars a day pulling green chain or
I worked above-grass, as the Cornish are fond of saying,
During the succeeding months, or college breaks,
tuition in my first year of college.
like much, but in 1950 it was enough to cover the cost of
mucker I was paid $8.80 a day. Today that may not seem
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25 others, most engineers conservatively agree that if one
Gold Center, the Scotia, the Alta Hill Mine, and a host of
those of the smaller operations such as the Bullion, the
Combine the workings of these two giants to
the Idaho-Maryland posted some 200 miles.
including scope. According to Jack Clark's calculations,
the Pennsylvania, alone accounted for 367 miles not
Empire Star Group, that is the Empire, the Northstar and
there are hundreds of miles of underground works. The
gold mining district in California. Beneath our city
1850 to 1956 Grass Valley was the richest and most famous
its potential impact on nearby wells, as we all know, from
With respect to the dewatering of the mine and
top and, in my opinion, shear rubbish.
somehow be put at severe risk I thought was a bit over the
street when going to and from Hennessy School would
stark specter that those children who must cross the
the same time, the person who two weeks ago raised the
that deserves further investigation and study. Yet, at
its impact on our roads, it's clearly one of the items
For example, on the issue of truck travel and
of Job and the wisdom of Solomon.
the polemics that come before you will take the patience
horsefeathers. How you will sort through and weigh all
misinformation, or in some cases were absolutely
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25 State Mining and Geology Board after having had their
does that because it has received certification from the
implements the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act, and it
Impact Report doesn't include it either. The City
requirement. It's a problem because the Environmental
aboveground are Surface Mining and Reclamation Act, it's a
So those portions of the mine that are
underground mine.
and Reclamation Plan covers the aboveground portion of an
Act, it has to say reclamation plan. The Surface Mining
to be consistent with the Surface Mining and Reclamation
4. Development and Review. 5. Mineral Extraction." And
1. General Plan Amendment. 2. Prezoning. 3. Annexation.
your agenda which says, "Specific applications include:
First of all, I would like to call attention to
Grass Valley resident, P.O. Box 2176.
SUZANNE SMITH: Good evening. Suzanne Smith,
--oOo--
of mine for my record.
ORLO STEELE: Yes. I'll have to submit the rest
THE CHAIRMAN: Wrap it up, Mr. Steele.
border and beyond.
end to end, it would stretch all the way to the Mexican
and track that are directly located under this township
were to lay all those miles of shafts, tunnels and drifts,
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25 down a mine -- and that includes the Teichert gravel
mitigation measures or not, the only way the City can shut
So no matter whether they're implementing their
stop a mine. It has to go to the state board.
authority for shutting down a quarry. And the City cannot
for implementing SMARA, the State takes back that
a mine is permitted -- whereas the City is the lead agency
gold, but we will have trucks 24 hours a day because once
trucks 24 hours a day. There will be no glory in the
So if you approve the mine, then you'll have the
portion of the permit.
somebody like Teichert comes in and just leases that
the gold mining, don't know how to sell gravel, right? So
mining portion of the project, the people who are doing
that that's a very reasonable scenario because the gold
State Office of Mine Reclamation today, and she agreed
Now, I ran this scenario by somebody at the
Teichert would be running their trucks.
that portion of the project to Teichert, for instance, and
gold out of this because the mine could very easily lease
of Grass Valley. I want you to take the romance of the
operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the middle
have you ask yourselves if you would permit a gravel mine
I would like to tell you that -- I would like to
mining ordinance reviewed.
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25 preparing environmental impact reports on mining projects,
draft environmental impact reports, and 11 years of
have 20 years of writing agency comments on CEQA projects,
One of the problems with the -- by the way, I
exhaust downtown.
continuing diesel exhaust, in addition to the noise and
be implemented until 2020. So we will have eight years of
have to have clean diesel now. Well, that's not going to
And everybody talks about the fact that they
regulate jake brakes. They're going to use them.
already by the time he gets down to Auburn. So you can't
says he can smell his brakes because they're so hot
trucks have to use going down that hill. A friend of mine
and the diesel exhaust, and the compression brakes that
values -- oh, on Highway 20 and 49, from the truck noise
SUZANNE SMITH: Okay. -- is that property
going.
THE CHAIRMAN: It's always been green. Keep
go green?
Because another thing that's going to happen -- why did it
hours a day, seven days a week, eight trucks an hour.
mine in downtown Grass Valley that would have trucks 24
So I want you to think about permitting a gravel
board. That's a very, very lengthy and difficult process.
portion of it if that happens -- is to go to the state
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25 bringing in families.
shared by two to three people. So they're not planning on
their housing need is is between 100 and 140 apartments
Well, she talked about, Joy talked about what
just ten. And I read that and I went what ten?
purchase thing is going to happen when the mine comes in,
family dwellings is what we anticipate the real estate
thing, and I realized that I had read that ten single-
Waite came in last time and talked about the housing
And the last thing I wanted to say is that Joy
can't turn beepers down.
your beepers down. You can use strobes at night, but you
in and they do inspections, but they don't let you turn
Administration, which is a federal agency. And they come
jurisdiction of MSHA, the Mine Safety and Health
activity that occurs on the mine site is under the
that they can permit a mine, because that portion of the
That's a very, very common mistake made, when people think
backup beepers, we'll turn the backup beepers down.
mitigations rely on other agencies. For instance, the
One of the problems with the EIR is that
it's fun, but it's not fun living with it.
these mining things before. And when you're working there
the County of Santa Cruz. So I've run across a lot of
implementing the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act for
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25 style of processing gold that doesn't use cyanide and is
working on the Haber gold process, which is an alternative
has looked into -- but it's an East Coast company that is
into at all or if the Idaho-Maryland Mining Corporation
don't know if that is something that you guys have looked
at, actually this is the Orex Gold Mines Corporation -- I
But one of the quotes from a site that I looked
not looked on enough.
that that often is scoffed at because it doesn't -- it's
has not really been spoken of much is cyanide, and I get
address all the alternatives. And one of the issues that
that wasn't brought up was the alternatives section didn't
of the things were already discussed. One of the things
the DEIR I was -- I came across a lot of things, and a lot
I'm a resident of Grass Valley. So when I was overlooking
ROSALIND PARDUCCI: Hi, I'm Rosalind Parducci.
--oOo--
over.
have any hardrock miners here. Thank you. Sorry, talked
South Africa? Because they're hardrock miners. We don't
Valley. Are they going to be bringing these miners from
an apartment, 100 apartments. That's not jobs for Grass
going to be bringing in to live two to three employees in
SUZANNE SMITH: This is a problem. Who are they
THE CHAIRMAN: Wrap it up, please.
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25 the ground that are relics of the last mining phases. So
just mercury and lead and the other chemicals that are in
It also didn't address adequately the issue of
toxic chemicals.
report was very -- it belittled the risk of using such
reopening of the mine, most of what was reflected in the
Corporation is looking at the whole -- just the entire
are taking on, the way that the Idaho-Maryland Mining
there's a fundamental flaw in the risk analysis that they
they did state that they were really going to be careful,
lot of -- they put precautions about their cyanide and
chemical. And though they have in their DEIR, they put a
restrictions exist is because cyanide is a really toxic
And it's clear that the reason these
Mexico, Oregon, Alaska," and lots of other places.
requirements restricting cyanide use already exist in New
cyanide use for gold mining in Montana. Other stringent
cyanide have resulted in legislated prohibition against
-- this is a quote from the site -- "about the use of
interesting to me that, "Growing environmental concerns"
So when I was looking at that, it's just
methods.
along the lines of completely nontoxic gold processing
interested in the fact that they hadn't mentioned anything
safe and environmentally friendly. So I was kind of
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25 Valley/Nevada City area for more than 20 years.
Grass Valley now, and I have been a resident of the Grass
JUDY DUANE: My name is Judy Duane. I live in
--oOo--
water. Thank you.
cannot fully predict what is going to happen with the well
consider, that they had taken into account that they
correct, said Harvey. So that is just something to
what's going to happen in regards to well water? That's
said in one of the previous meetings: You can't assure us
know this has been said a lot, but just to quote what was
And just the other thing with the water, and I
that's pretty much ...
issues of the toxics that they're handling there. So
report that did not dig deeply enough into the actual
assumptions that were being made throughout the entire
questioned. And it looked like there were a lot of
was covering everything, there were a lot of things that I
it. And though it looked on the surface very -- like it
that sounded really vague to me when I was reading through
And there was a lot of, there was a lot of stuff
going to try and put it all in one big piece.
after it processed them. It sounded like it was just
not say where it was going to be sending the remnants
when it was talking about processing those things, it did
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25 substances which are already in and around the mine,
opinion, from what I read and heard: first from toxic
pollution would come from at least three sources, in my
could not be mitigated to a satisfactory level. The air
1. Air pollution would be greatly increased and
in detail enough.
more detail because I don't think the DEIR addresses them
of subjects that I think all of us need to think about in
reasons. And these are all general, but they cover a lot
I strongly oppose the project for the following
Idaho-Maryland Mine.
opinion that Emgold should be denied the reopening of the
Environmental Impact Report, which has confirmed my
close to two years, paying special attention to the Draft
about the project from the many sources available for
many other people that I know here. I have been learning
changes that threaten the qualities that have kept me and
of the Idaho-Maryland Mine, I see the possibility of
But now, with the consideration of the reopening
be able to stay here.
treasured my ability to live here and my good fortune to
previously known about this unique community. I have
discovered it, I could hardly believe that I had not
peaceful and beautiful place in which to live. When I
I moved here because it was a healthful,
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25 and add to the problem. Do we want to deliberately make
over whether or not we allow a mine to reopen in our area
ozone problem unfortunately, but we have total control
We have very little, if any, control over our
lungs.
contribute to the level of toxins that we breathe into our
would make it even more unhealthful than it already is, to
ozone. We can not and must not permit anything which
on most days exceptionally high levels of unhealthful
that we have to worry about it -- our air quality contains
summer mostly, but it's basically six months of the year
approximately and 2:00 a.m., our air quality -- during the
For six months of the year, between 2:00 p.m.
major sources of air pollution.
extremely toxic waste into the air. So those are three
from the mine, each of which would spew great amounts of
numbers of diesel trucks in transporting materials to and
them in the mine's operation; third, the use of large
air, but would import toxic materials to the site and use
which would not only create toxins and release them in the
polluting the air from the operation of the mine itself,
included as part of the project; second, it would be
and the activity of the affiliated ceramic tile industry
when disturbed by the activity of the mine's operations
presently dormant, but which would be freed into the air
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25 and took them to, would be heavily impacted causing
the mine, and wherever the trucks brought materials from
4. Most traffic and roads leading to and from
these trucks were being used.
unacceptable levels anywhere close to the roads where
environment. And, of course, the noise would be at
elsewhere and conduct their business in a more pleasant
similarly annoying and could force people to locate
area. In addition, noise from the diesel trucks would be
drive both residents and visitors out of the affected
a constant annoyance to an unbearable level. This could
including downtown Grass Valley, would probably range from
the mine itself and in the near vicinity of the mine,
3. The noise level from operation of the mine at
short of what we require.
mine's operation could leave our community's supplies
of our community. Also, the amount of water used in the
into, or seeping into, the waterways and water resources
from toxins in and around the mine being deliberately put
an unknown and unpredictable degree, which could result
subject. Water pollution would be part of the problem to
Water pollution is number two. It's the second
toxic than it already is for six months of the year?
And in addition, to deliberately make our air even more
our air toxic year-round when it hasn't been in the past?
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you.
to say no to permitting the mine from reopening. Thank
to keep our air from getting worse. All we have to do is
about our ozone problem, but there is a simple, easy way
JUDY DUANE: Okay. There's not much we can do
need you to wrap things up, please.
THE CHAIRMAN: Judy, your time is up. I really
pollution from the mine --
Grass Valley during the ozone season. To add air
condition, asthma, and it has worsened from living in
stay. I have already developed a serious health
Finally, if the mine were reopened I would not
Many people could lose their life savings.
properties are sold, their values would have depreciated.
mine, with some moving out of the area. When these
properties, both before and during the reopening of the
described. And this could lead to the selling of these
be negatively impacted from all of the items already
Homes, land, even commercial property and businesses will
JUDY DUANE: Number five is personal property.
THE CHAIRMAN: Judy, you need to wrap it up.
police and highway patrol personnel and equipment.
possibility of accidents, and the need to hire more local
congestion, expensive road damage, the increased
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25 concerns. And you might look outside of Grass Valley, the
because, overwhelmingly, folks here have very serious
report and go back to staff for additional planning
I would recommend that the Commission table this
the Newmont Mine issue right now.
implications for now and in the future, particularly with
Making the decision here will have long and lasting
around us I think need to be brought into this process.
the down water implications there. Other communities
of our area; roads, water. Some of the folks addressed
consider things and implications that would occur outside
were looking and living in a fish bowl, we forgot to
here, some of the things that we forgot to do, while we
committees and things in the Bay Area before we moved up
member in planning commissions, city beautification
One of the things -- having been a participating
supplies to our county, which is very dear.
what happens if that occurs again, with inadequate water
should be addressed as part of the planning process is
drought. One of the key considerations that I think
Truckee area, we were at the tail end of a three-year
When we moved here to Nevada County, up in the
years.
John Walasek, a resident of Nevada County for close to 35
JOHN WALASEK: Commission members, my name is
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25 certain obligation to try to stay within, you know, very
through on this, and I think that the EIR process has a
been just way too common in the comments that have gone
I think that the what ifs and vague fears have
future date.
about being disappointed if they lost their job at some
it at all so that way those people wouldn't have to worry
conclusion was maybe it would be better if we didn't open
because they lost their jobs. And so, therefore, the
projecting, and then people would be very disappointed
before the 20- or 30-year period, whatever they're
would get jobs, but for some reason the mine might close
scenario that if the mine were allowed to open people
The first was a gentleman who raised kind of the
to kind of develop off of.
of struck a cord with me that I thought that I would like
had here, there were a couple of comments that really kind
And at the last meeting that we had, that you
Frederking. I live down in Rough and Ready.
RICK FREDERKING: Hello, my name is Rick
--oOo--
very much.
reaction to what we decide here this evening. Thank you
Yuba County and Placer County, and what will be their
implications for the rest of our county, Sutter County,
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25 works. This whole process is designed to make a serious
going to have some impacts. That's just the way life
earth actually does recover. And that -- any activity is
it's already -- they're also testifying to how well the
because they love how wonderful this area looks whereas
So we've got all these people that are moving in
is all about.
before regulations, protections that are what this process
ground zero for the historic mining industry in the days
pure, original. Well, Grass Valley could be thought of as
ruin this pristine area. And the word pristine means
the lady who complained that, if opened, this mine would
The other comment that caught my attention was
on permit process and studies.
the Idaho-Maryland project, they spent millions of dollars
and opportunity and that sort of thing. In the meantime,
grow up, move out and go to other areas to look for jobs
into this area. In the meantime, the generation of kids
older people who have made their money somewhere else move
kind of a continuous employment strategy, in a way, where
handling it. So throughout that period our county has had
1995 at the Rood Center, when it was still the County
I first testified on this subject back about
somewhat cost-effective.
reasonable kind of questions and to try to be at least
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25 million, which would be a basic billion dollar industry in
left over, when you consider the impact of having had a 70
Whatever damage that might have occurred or if it's still
second to the Empire, which is also right here in town.
second largest underground mine in California history,
mines, the Idaho-Maryland in particular, which was the
health problems that resulted from the operation of these
I haven't heard any data showing any significant
benefit this potentially has for this area.
So it just gives some idea of the scale of the economic
more of economic activity. And that's just their product.
you're talking in the neighborhood of a billion dollars or
multiply that by, I don't know, by 10, 20, 30 times. So
reports in 1970. Well, by today's numbers, you can
somewhere around 70 million dollars according to the state
in this area. The Idaho-Maryland Mine was -- produced
endemic, the amount of mining activity that has occurred
It's like a quilt of just how much -- it was literally
blanketed by mining claims when you look at this area.
Mineralogy and such produced, Grass Valley was totally
If you look at maps that the State Division of
experience and such.
technology and also the ability to foresee based on
responsibly and safely, and taking advantage of modern
effort to ensure that this mining will be conducted
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25 I would like to comment on the EIR specifically.
with us, goes to the school where I teach.
teacher. I have a wife and an 11-year-old child who is
mine site, at 11010 Gold Hill Drive. I'm a school
I live on the hill just opposite the proposed
different viewpoints.
Griffith. Thanks for listening to all of us with our
GARY GRIFFITH: Good evening. My name is Gary
--oOo--
miners. Thank you.
inauguration, today is a day to say yes, you can, and go
with it. I would just like to say, with this day of
thank you because I know there's a lot of work been done
of the people who have been involved with the Draft EIR,
live in Grass Valley. I would just like to say, on behalf
DAVE WILZBACH: My name is Dave Wilzbach, and I
--oOo--
Thank you.
this, it really is time to wrap it up and go mining.
but the amount of time and money that's been spent on
an environmental thing. I mean, it's got some of both,
been, in effect, more a war of attrition than necessarily
I personally view this permit process, it's
negligible, if you look at it from today's perspective.
this community, I think that the results are relatively
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25 Mine State Historic Park a lot, and there are trails that
just wanted to mention it. I walk the trails of Empire
one thing I do that probably most people don't and so I
And, you know, since I live real close, there's
good intention.
job. I'm sure that countless hours have gone into it with
unfortunately, I don't feel that this EIR has done a good
safety in a reasonable way of all those living here. And
its obligations to address the concerns and look at the
the mines, and I just think that the City needs to follow
business, the people who have had good experiences with
present who want to make mining happen for the good of
I respect all the miners, the people who are
don't really feel that is the case here.
way that the public can understand and make sense of. I
this process actually addresses the concerns in a clear
where this mine would be, I would just like to see that
how data is left out. So as someone living very close to
regulations and don't explain the mitigations and so on,
way in which mitigations refer to guidelines or
Much of what people have said I could echo, the
proposal.
poorly answer fundamental questions I have about the mine
overladen it is with technical jargon, it still seems to
I read it extensively. And I am surprised that, given how
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25 citizens to see what's going on. So, in essence, impacts
could be put out in this way, without an ability for
As a citizen, I'm rather shocked that a document
the appendices.
study obviously. It does not appear in the DEIR, nor in
something labeled Todd Engineering 2007, a hydrological
only data, the only science reference I can see to this is
It doesn't really address anything downstream. And the
its exhaustive time looking only at the three properties.
Basically, what the document does is it spends
ignore the very downstream habitats and stream reaches.
-- however, the document then goes on to essentially
downstream -- that they're required to by law, of course
downstream and to those species and habitats that live
The DEIR lists the potential for impacts to creeks
deal with impacts to biological resources and hydrology.
address the issues. Section 4.3, or chapter 4.3 and 4.7
carefully there. And again, I felt like it didn't really
and the winter and the rest, I read the DEIR pretty
lot, and see the water go up and down and see the summer
And so since I know that area well and walk it a
parcel and one has been in that land for a long time.
State Park Historic Land. One is a rather more recent
Wolf Creek, successful in two locations, both of which are
go down right to South Fork Wolf Creek. And South Fork
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Still, nonetheless, if you just look in California's
out of their way to look at these little bugs and plants.
those who look at it might say, well, they're going way
looking at specific species that may be impacted -- and to
site itself where they spend an incredible amount of time
Also looking through, I see that even on the
believe it does so.
expect this report to show that clearly, and I don't
impacts. I'm not an expert. I can't say. But I would
you may have already read. There may be no significant
that she has submitted comments separately which I assume
the park, that she has concerns about this as well, and
I know, speaking with the geomorphologist for
think the EIR addresses impacts to them.
They're part of our state park right now. And I don't
degradation in the past, but they've come back amazingly.
precious. They've undergone tremendous placer mine
our mining heritage is precious, so are these habitats
creatures are a precious part of our community. Just as
And I want to point out that these creek
undercutting or scouring are ignored.
made. Potential impacts to the reptarian forest due to
stream are not considered. No studies or surveys are
to the trouts and aquatic invertebrates that are in the
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25 they're speaking of and it becomes clear about the
And until it somehow becomes clear about what
hidden within this document.
you're opening up. And this is a great can of worms
with the mining unless you know what you're doing and what
say let's get on with the mining. Well, you can't get on
So I would say -- you know, I've heard speakers tonight
even calling it a draft because it's so lacking in depth.
the one producing it, I'd be very ashamed of myself in
This is a draft EIR. It doesn't -- if I were
EIR is what I would like to address.
in-depth comments, and the in-depth comments on this Draft
pre-agenda, but I've heard many people speak tonight, many
I'd like to just -- I come without notes or
GILBERT FULTON: Gilbert Fulton, Grass Valley.
--oOo--
proposal. So thank you very much.
the community or a legal document for the applicant's
don't see how it can really stand as a document useful to
So I just feel this EIR is inadequate, and I
for Empire Mine.
are extensively discussed in the neighboring initial study
manzanita and the California spotted owl, both of which
even referenced in the Draft EIR, including True's
point for the CEQA process, there are species that aren't
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25 carry, that's something I didn't look into, but I'm just
or what your recommendations may be or whether they may
don't know exactly what your agenda or position is on this
unacceptable. We can't recommend or do anything. And I
send it back to the maker and say this is totally
don't know what you're going to do with it, but I would
My point is that you have a Draft EIR. And I
from my point.
general tenure of now -- and I seem to be going estray
we'll get used to it. It's going to happen. It's not the
that. I heard the gentleman say, well, there's pollution,
built that in this world, haven't we? So we get used to
pollution. You have pollution -- well, we've pretty well
lived in cities. I've lived in towns. I've seen
up the mine again. Well, no problem, you know. I've
heard, I thought, oh, how romantic, they're going to open
the mine in, I think it was 19 -- or 2000. About 2000 I
When I first heard about Grass Valley opening up
a big hoodwink to me, this whole thing.
to get into calling names or anything, but it sounds like
there. This is somebody's idea and, my god, I don't want
is, you know, sort of like a will-o'-the-wisp thing out
impacts that come our way, but there is -- Emgold itself
they have been addressed and we've been forewarned about
economic -- not impacts here, with Grass Valley, although
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25 December of 2005.
legislation, and the permitting process commenced in
completion of the EIR under the CEQA and SMARA
2005, the City hired consultants to assist them in
Economic Viability Study for the project. In November
May 2005. In July 2005, we successfully completed an
Valley. These applications were accepted by the City in
submission of our applications to the City of Grass
We started the process in 2005 with the
good project. We want to outline some of the steps.
permitting process and to involve the public to build a
considerable time, effort and money undertaking the
to be certified as complete. We have expended
concerns raised to allow the Environmental Impact Report
with the City and their consultants to address any
forward to addressing their concerns. We plan to work
welcome the input from the public on the project and look
your continued work on the Idaho-Maryland project. We
I'd like to thank the Planning Commission for
Idaho-Maryland Mining Corporation.
live in Grass Valley. I'm the president of the
DAVE WATKINSON: My name is Dave Watkinson. I
--oOo--
of work. And that's about all I have. Thank you.
responding to what I heard tonight. And it requires a lot
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25 point.
This has taken us approximately four years, to get to this
period on the Draft EIR, which is scheduled to end today.
October 30th, 2008. We're currently in the public comment
Impact Report commenced and it was published on
October 2007, the preparation of the Draft Environmental
the project and was completed in September of 2007. In
In July 2007, the Initial Study commenced for
project for which the community can be proud.
the public and utilize this input to create a better
revisions to the project show IMMC's commitment to involve
applications were accepted by the City in June 2007. The
were advances in our mine planning. The revised
the ceramics technology were also taken into account, as
public input received during the MEA process. Advances in
elected to revise our applications to take into account
In 2006, the MEA was completed. At that time we
responsible project that will benefit the community.
commitment to build an environmentally and socially
time and investment by the company, but it's part of our
Mine. This required additional steps, both in significant
requirements for a project such as the Idaho-Maryland
and Master Environmental Assessment are unusual
Assessment. This was -- both the Economic Viability Study
We were asked to complete a Master Environmental
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25 Nevada County Fair. We've made presentations to all
(sic) Summer Nights, the Air Fest, the Home Show, and the
Grass Valley Thursday/Friday Night Markets, Nevada County
we've set up booths and answered public questions at the
on our website at www.Idaho-Maryland.com. Since 2005,
as part of our public workshops, and those are documented
summary of community questions and concerns and responses
We've produced three booklets which outline the
local radio and television programs when requested.
participated in that. We've also participated in many
discussion put on my special interest groups and
revised project application. We attended a mine panel
these changes made to the project associated with the
an additional two workshops January 30th, 2007 to outline
answer general questions about the project. We conducted
questions. We conducted two more on March 7th, 2006 to
2005 on the Idaho-Maryland project to answer general
We conducted two public workshops on August 30,
parallel to the process.
some of our public relations activities that we've done
Draft EIR. In addition, I'd like to go on the record with
also held public meetings as part of this review of the
documented them here. And the Planning Commission has
public meetings. I'm not going to go into them, but I've
The City has held a considerable number of
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25 Class IV --
treat this discharge. This should also be considered a
proposes to construct water treatment plants that would
mine workings which currently go into Wolf Creek. IMMC
will also eliminate existing discharge from the historic
Class IV beneficial environmental impact in the EIR. IMMC
So cleanup of the site should be considered as a
impacts to wetlands habitat.
tailings, but also to mitigate wetlands impacts -- or
requiring a prospective purchaser to not only clean up the
tailings are now classified as man-made wetlands,
This is further complicated by the fact that these
develop because of the existing legacy mining issues.
idle for over 50 years because it was uneconomic to
legacy mine site that closed down in 1956. The site sat
economic. I'd like to talk about the cleanup of the
the project. These benefits are both environmental and
I'd like to talk about some of the benefits of
will continue to do so.
to build consensus and acceptance for the project, and we
their questions about the project. We've continued to try
try to educate these groups about the project and answer
Alliance, APPLE, Sierra Club, Sierra Fund, and others to
We've engaged groups like the Wolf Creek
groups that have requested them.
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25 TOM LAST: No, it doesn't cancel it out.
R. GAUN: Today.
-- today?
TOM LAST: If you've submitted written comments
cancel out this? If I've written a document --
questions to Tom. I didn't know if that will -- will that
I did submit a letter to -- of comments and
front here.
sorry for my nervousness. I'm not good about being in
Valley. P.O. Box 345, Grass Valley, California. I'm
R. GAUN: Gaun is my name. I live here in Grass
THE REPORTER: I can't hear you.
R. GAUN: My name is (inaudible) --
--oOo--
good project for the community. Thank you very much.
process to answer the questions and address them to make a
And we're committed to going through the rest of the EIR
the community. We're committed to making a good project.
project has both environmental and economic benefits to
I'd like to just reiterate by saying that the
submitted our comments today.
comments here which I'll table with you. We've also
DAVE WATKINSON: Okay. I have additional
please.
THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Watkinson, wrap it up,
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25 look at this from a scientific mind. That's incredibly
to do, but we have to take away a lot of that and just
to do and I appreciate what the residents have been trying
I appreciate what this company has been trying
background.
this. So please note that I come from that kind of
dealing with scientific applications and documents like
rehabilitation, and so on. So I'm not uncomfortable with
state, assessing them for energy use and retrofitting
conservation field looking at facilities throughout the
of Forestry, State of California, I was in the energy
trained background. And when I worked for the Department
only an artistic trained background, but a scientifically
presently I'm not for or against this project. I have not
I think I have to preface this by saying
my uncomfortableness.
the project is what's prompted me to come forward despite
R. GAUN: Okay. The seriousness of the scale of
an opportunity now.
addressed. So anything new you may want to add, you have
If you've already filed your comments, those will be
JOE HECKEL: You don't need to repeat those.
R. GAUN: Okay.
TOM LAST: It will be received and commented on.
R. GAUN: Okay. Because I want --
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25 it costs because if a two dollar filter does a thousand
filter. Not because of its cost. I don't care how much
filter, I want to know that that's the top of the line
When somebody tells me they're going to use a
detailed.
this scale of project. It must be thorough and it must be
but is it thorough? No. And it should be thorough for
there's not a lot of that. Scientifically, it has some,
background, that a lot of it is paste and copy. And
I have to say, from what I'm reading, from my
yes, this holds water and all the things in here?
assess the DEIR from a vantage point that can really say
can write and we can do all this, but are we experts to
together? We're just people out here. We can read, we
Council or can the City get some money and put experts
One of my suggestions may be to ask can the
perspective. And that's what I've been trying to do.
That's how you approach something from a scientific
is it thorough, is there the depth there that it needs?
when you look at this document. Does it present itself,
That's really what I want you to kind of look at
water.
supposed to tear it apart to make sure that it holds
an approach like this, you have a setup where you're
important. When you have something in front of you with
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25 Okay. So it gets watered twice a day is the mitigation,
materials dumped onto it, the fugitive dust concerns me.
that thing, because it's going to be continually getting
So the fugitive dust that's going to come off
going to be -- that area is huge.
that, but the stockpile that's going to go behind it is
big trees, but I think that's -- you know, I can deal with
going to hide this building. This thing is as tall as our
going to hide this building -- or planted trees are not
big as the trees, the mature trees. Mature trees are not
enormous. I went out there, and this is going to be as
stockpiles. They've got the big building -- which is
The stockpiles of mine material, there's several
them.
-- because I hope I'll not run out of time dealing with
hopefully this will be answered. There are two big things
have not seen addressed and I'm not finding here, so maybe
One of the big issues or holes in this that I
So this should have details to that extent.
of a cardboard box and cheesecloth and call it a filter.
filter on this so and so thing. I could make a filter out
to this. I don't want just someone to say I'll put a
this x, y and z and your mitigation level will come down
the line, detailed filter, you know, this filter will do
dollar filter, fine, not a problem, but I want the top of
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25 we breathe. Now, it's mitigated by watering down. You
go back and work. All that venting goes out into our air
the mine. Okay? It's vented out so that the miners can
go into the ventilation thing. The blast happens inside
Okay. I'm running out of time so I'm going to
here.
open ground. Is that an issue? It's not addressed in
residual stuff coming down off those piles. That's just
So you're watering them down and then you have all this
stockpiles, is that an environmental impact on its own?
Okay. And then the runoff from these
that going to take?
know, where does that water come from? How much water is
watering a lot. Okay. Well, fine, then it gets to, you
lot. So is the conveyor belt. It's going to need
summers. Those stockpiles are going to need watering a
water will hold for a while, especially in the heat of our
absorbent. It's not like a sponge where, you know, the
And is twice a day enough? These rocks are not
stockpiles?
nut like that, but what does watering mean of those
hose. I'm reasonable and I'm not going to be, you know, a
watering mean? Obviously it's not going to be with a
constantly getting material. Well, what does twice a day
as I understand it. Twice a day watering when it's
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25 because anybody could be killed by a car. Let's not take
can get hurt at work. Let's get rid of all the cars
wonderful. Let's close all businesses because everybody
the health issue and the environmental issue. That's
the concern everybody has about the mine being open and
LABELLE ROMAN: I'm Labelle Roman. I understand
--oOo--
these questions because they're really big. Thank you.
inadequate. And I apologize. I hope we can answer all of
I appreciate it, but I think the DEIR is
dust coming out of that system.
coming out of there. Because as I understand, there's no
down there and wetted down there constantly, there's dust
unless it's muddy down there, and everything is muddied up
They're moving around, the equipment is moving around --
mine, which the miners need down there and all that.
only three of them. They're just blowing out air from the
are 20-foot shafts as I understand them. There's I think
dust is getting blown out through the vent systems. Those
there's all that equipment running around there. All that
It's got to be dealt with. And, you know,
The ventilation system is moving some air, big time.
expect all that dust not to go out the ventilation system.
absorbing, the water is just running down -- blast it and
can't water down a wall, blast it -- those rocks are not
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25 surpluses that may be more or less than $540,000 a year,
through 8." Then they go on to describe some of the other
Grass Valley averaging $540,000 per year during years 3
of the proposed project, and net revenue to the City of
fiscal impacts would be positive during the early phases
long-term trend. "After some negative impact at start-up,
would begin, and then also for years 22 to 23 to show the
for the years 1 through 9, when stabilized operations
annual cost and revenue estimates for the proposed project
And then they describe how Table 12 presents
impact overall.
Valley. And they conclude that it will be a positive
the overall impact of the mine for the City of Grass
Hausrath Economics Group. And on page 27 they talk about
prepared July 30, 2008 by a consulting firm called
on the Idaho-Maryland Mine Economic and Fiscal Analysis
part, if I can find it here. So there was a final report
the economic analysis. I just wanted to read one little
COMMISSIONER HARRISON: This is in regards to
--oOo--
(Proceedings not reported)
something would be very, very happy. Thank you.
problem, and all the people that are against doing
just sort of wither. I think that would take care of the
any chances. Let's just sit still, fold our hands and
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25 London, Moscow, Mexico City, Sacramento, San Francisco.
world. People can live in Grass Valley and make deals in
working in financial and scientific markets all over the
laptop and a cell phone can be hooked up and connected and
to the company; namely, these days any smart person with a
try to attract specific talent and skill to the region and
you could say, workers in Grass Valley and businesses who
And then also there's all the new style, I guess
losers economically from the mine.
Business Park, clearly they feel like they are going to be
of the companies in Crown Point and Whispering Pines
suffer negative impacts from noise or air quality. Some
individuals who own property near the area that might
However, the losers could potentially be those
along with that.
corporation, and all the auxiliary businesses that go
and forth from the mine, the shareholders in the mining
the truck drivers who get employed carrying materials back
construction workers who get to work and build the mine,
going to be the construction workers, the many
economic losers. And the economic winners are clearly
project there are going to be economic winners and
really take into consideration is that with this type of
The thing that the economic analysis doesn't
but that seems like a good average to me.
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25 the level of overall pedestrian friendliness. And that's
you know, a very small fraction of, you know, decrease in
will change as a result of the project. And it may be,
The pedestrian environment at that intersection
when they're crossing the street.
pollution, and then also a little bit less safe for them
that is noisier, a little smellier from diesel air
Street and Colfax Highway 174, will create an environment
downtown, in that little triangle created by South Auburn
traffic that will be coming onto the on ramp by Safeway
have a very high-quality school. And I'm worried that the
young, but they're excellent scholars and they deserve to
take tests. They are excellent scholars. They're very
Hennessy School study hard. They go to the library. They
related to Hennessy School. The students who go to
Moving on to my next concern is particularly
economic losers in this particular instance.
And the businesses who rely on those people would be
bit fuzzy you lose a certain economic sector of people.
not the perception is real or not, if people get a little
quality of life is perceived to deteriorate. Whether or
are the type of people who may choose to move if the
need to reside specifically in Grass Valley. And those
live wherever there's high quality of life, and they don't
People like that can live anywhere. They can
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25 more detail on post-project site cleanup, remediation,
for the reclamation plan. You know, I think we need a lot
know, I just didn't see the detail that I was looking for
materials that were posted on the City's website and, you
of post-project reclamation. I read through all of the
And then also related to that is the whole issue
permit in some way.
phased with the permit, you know, legally linked to the
be moved, when it will be moved, how that's going to be
particularly who will pay for it, how much material will
cleaning up the hazardous materials on the site, and
really clean (sic) to me, the details associated with
And in reading through the materials, it's not
association with its application.
problem, but it's an issue that arises nonetheless in
current applicant is innocent, certainly didn't create the
the site due to historic mining issues. In many ways, the
to cleanup of the hazardous materials that are present on
And then the other concern that I had is related
yet.
especially for children who are not quite three feet tall
intersection and the level of pedestrian friendliness,
know, consideration or assessment of that particular
students of that school. And I'd like to have some, you
very hard to measure, but I am very worried for the
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25 --oOo--
And that is the end of my comments.
tool for the City, but I'm hopeful that it can be done.
enough information that could be a useful decision-making
all the comments and to get a document that contains
consultants have a big job cut out for them, to address
So, as currently written, I think the
how that would work out.
my brain, and I'd like a little bit more detail to clarify
think at the moment it's a little bit fuzzy, at least in
It's not my job to pass judgment at this point. But I
And those statements may or may not be true.
reclamation plan was not sufficient.
indicating that those state agencies felt that the
packet. We've also seen letters from state agencies
part of the EIR and as one of the applications in the
indicate that the reclamation plan should be included as
as part of the EIR process. We've heard statements that
agencies, about how the reclamation plan should be treated
several times from the public, and also from state
And then also this issue that we've heard raised
specifically for soils, water and plants.
on the physical condition of the site post-restoration,
(phonetic) to those bonds, site restoration, and details
funding, how much will the bonds be, what we deter
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State of California
Certified Shorthand Reporter
TRICIA N. KELLY, CSR No. 3604
_____________________________
this _______ day of ____________________, 2009.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand
I in any way interested in the outcome of the matter.
counsel for any of the parties in said proceedings, nor am
I further certify that I am not related to nor
by me.
taken on the day therein named and thereafter transcribed
foregoing was reported by me; that said comments were
I, TRICIA N. KELLY, hereby certify that the
CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER
County of Nevada )
) ss.
State of California )
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