Toxic mining legacy focus of meeting
October 31, 2013
On Monday, Nov. 4, regional experts will present information to the public about the impacts of historic mining pollution in our community.
Specific sites in Nevada County that will be covered include Hirschman's Pond, the Deer Creek Tribute Trail bridge site and Lonesome Lake on the San Juan Ridge, according to a news release issued by The Sierra Fund.
The meeting will also cover important new fish consumption advice that women under 45 and families with young children should be aware of.
This informational meeting, which is hosted by The Sierra Fund, will take place at 7 p.m., Monday, downstairs in the Nevada City Veterans Hall, 415 N. Pine Street. Light refreshments will be provided.
Representatives from the Bureau of Land Management and the United States Geological Survey will present the results of assessments in the Deer Creek Stocking Flat area, Hirschman's Pond and the Lonesome Lake area on the San Juan Ridge.
Stocking Flat is on BLM property, just downstream of the existing Tribute Trail bridge.
USGS recently completed an assessment of mine-related contaminants left over from historic mining activities on these properties and an evaluation of mercury levels in fish from Hirschman's Pond. USGS and local scientists will present the assessment results for the first time locally.
The Sierra Fund, a nonprofit based in Nevada City, has been working since 2006 to address the ongoing pollution from historic mining, including research on public exposure pathways and outreach to clinics and the general public.
Dr. Carrie Monohan will present "Fish and Dust: Legacy Impacts from the Gold Rush" — an overview of two studies The Sierra Fund completed to assess human exposure to heavy metals: the "Gold County Angler Survey" and the "Gold County Recreational Trails Assessment."
Speakers will be available to answer questions about their studies and discuss how to avoid exposure to legacy mercury and other heavy metals related to historic mining in this area, including arsenic and lead.
This meeting was originally planned for early October but had to be rescheduled due to the federal government shutdown at that time, which prevented speakers from USGS and BLM from attending.
This meeting is being hosted in conjunction with the Nevada County Public Health Department, the Greater Champion Neighborhood Association, the Greater Cement Hill Neighborhood Association, the San Juan Ridge Taxpayers Association and the Yuba Watershed Institute.