A junior mining company from Canada has arrived in Grassvalley with an eye to reopen the Idaho-Maryland Mine- and so far Rise Gold Corp. has not made a good impression. They have a horrible environmental track record at their other mines and have already started breaking the rules in Grassvalley. Despite all this, in May, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to authorize the preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) to study the risks of re-opening the Idaho-Maryland Mine – a project led by Canadian Company, RISE Gold. If the mine were to open, it would compromise Wolf Creek and the Bear River in perpetuity.
On July 17, the County published a Notice of Preparation (NOP) to identify what issues should be addressed in the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) to assess the impacts associated with re-opening the Idaho Maryland Mine. The County announced that the “Public Hearing” on the Notice of Preparation (NOP) would be pre-recorded only.
The community now has only a few days left to submit questions for study about the impacts of the project!
Can you help by writing a letter this weekend?
The Community Environmental Advocates Foundation and Wolf Creek Community Alliance need your help, they’ve fought this off before and need help doing so again. AEL is partnering with these groups to enlist citizen involvement.
If we don’t ask the questions now, we won’t get to later.
DEADLINE: Comment letters are due to Nevada County by August 17, 2020
Example of One Issue: Water Management effecting Wolf Creek and Bear River
One major issue to open the mine is the impact of dewatering the miles of underground tunnels, requiring pumping out 2,500 acre feet of groundwater into South Fork Wolf Creek initially, and then perpetually pumping 1.2 million gallons a day after that. All of this water must be treated to remove pollutants and the water treatment facility will have to operate in perpetuity to prevent discharge of contaminated water, even after the mine closes in 80 years. These high, artificial water discharges into the creek will disrupt the natural flow and temperature regime in the creek, disturbing the life cycles of the organisms that sustain the ecology of this riparian corridor. Wolf Creek’s impacts would wash down into the Bear River.
In addition to the impacts of the proposed dewatering, the plan indicates that a long stretch of the creek will be encased in pipes to act as an underground storm drain for the entire property. “We are concerned about the non-stop discharge of large amounts of water from the mine into the creek,” stated Jonathan Keehn of the Wolf Creek Community Alliance. South Wolf Creek should not be treated like a storm drain.” Keehn added, “We are concerned about chemical pollution from mining operations and about local wells becoming polluted or going dry.”
The mine site is adjacent to Wolf Creek in a quiet neighborhood.