Nevada County Board of Supervisors Delays Decision on Blue Lead Mine

The Nevada County Board of Supervisors was surprisingly receptive to those appealing the recent decision of the Planning Commission to grant Blue Lead Mine a “mitigated negative declaration” in lieu of a full EIR (environmental impact report).

After a full afternoon  (1:30 to 7:30) of testimony and deliberations before a completely packed chamber, the Board voted 3-2 to delay the decision on the appeal until after further study of the water issue (the Blue Lead project plans to use 20,000 gallons of water per day in its mining activities, with impacts on local wells completely uncertain).

My impression is that most of the pro-mine comments came from owner Robert White and his family, Blue Lead employees/consultants and recreational miners.

Most of the comments critical of the proposed mining project came from people living in the vicinity of the mine, whose arguments in favor of the appeal and in favor of an EIR, were compelling, The process  could still (after some months of further study?) end up in an EIR, depending on the results of the water study.

More details can be found here on Yubanet (the first to report on this BOS meeting):

Red Flags for Blue Lead Mine – Decision Postponed


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2 Responses to “Nevada County Board of Supervisors Delays Decision on Blue Lead Mine”
  1. RickD says:

    Using such copious amounts of water during an apparent drought seems a decision worthy of much consideration. I am heartened by the turnout there which indicates that not all Americans have become passive and uninvolved in the face of the callous disregard of so many corporations to the damage they cause.

  2. RalphS says:

    Some of the supervisors seem to show a callous indifference to the possible impacts the Blue Lead Mine may have on the neighbors.
    The water issue is serious and complex. Even if a short term test does not show an impact, it can take years before the effects of the continuous high usage is felt. I.e. A risk of impacts to wells exists, just like with the Siskon (San Juan) Mine and there needs to be a significant bond in place to guarantee compensation for possible water loss to the neighbors.
    In addition to the water issue, one has to wonder at the tacit acceptance of the noise standards. They are inadequate. All the mine has to do is keep the noise below 55 decibels to remain in compliance.! There is definitely an impact on quality of life and property values when there is a constant rumble of heavy equipment and rock crushers, even if they are only 50 decibels over a distance. Imagine if your neighbor is running a leaf blower all day every day. It is not very many decibels if you are 100 ft away, but it is very annoying. The permit would allow operation from 7AM to 7PM 6 days a week for 20 years. On Sundays they may be running a water truck around, or reving up equipment to do maintainance. This time of ongoing noise pollution can be a significant quality of life impact on the areas residents.

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