In the following video excerpt from his comments to the Planning Commission on April 22, 2010 Mike Luksic (pronounced “luck sic”) of the Office of Mine Reclamation (OMR) states that the owners of Blue Lead Mine may owe $34,675,000 in fines and penalties for continuous violations for the last 19 years. He also suggests that — if Nevada County does not strictly enforce SMARA regulations — OMR could take over from the county its role as lead agency in all mining operations.
Clearly, much is at stake with the decision the Planning Commission will make at its next and presumably final meeting on this issue on Thursday of this week (May 27th). Many people will be watching this decision closely.
Granting a vested right to Blue Lead could well open a Pandora’s Box of such applications, since other Nevada County properties are currently being advertised with the suggestion that they may also be eligible for vested rights.