Presentation set on cleanup of abandoned gold mines |

Presentation set on cleanup of abandoned gold mines

Submitted to The Union

As part of the new Sierra Science Speaker Series, the Nevada County campus of Sierra College welcomes Kyle Leach in a presentation, titled "Cleaning up abandoned gold mines in the Sierra with EPA Brownfields Grant Funding."

This presentation and discussion will be held from 6:30-7:30 p.m., March 11, in the Multipurpose Center, N-12. Come early and enjoy a meet-and-greet and refreshments at 6 p.m.

Thousands of abandoned gold mines dot the Sierra Nevada foothills landscape, spreading heavy metal toxins such as arsenic, lead and mercury in the environment and unwittingly impacting human health and ecological receptors.

The miners, industrialists and corporations who caused this devastation have long since left the scene, leaving no one to foot the huge cleanup bills now encountered.

The U.S. EPA Brownfields Grant program has recently provided over $1 million to investigate and clean up abandoned mines in Nevada City and Grass Valley.

This talk will provide an overview of local mining history and the environmental problems it has caused and will then focus on the cleanup of two mine sites on Nevada City property using Brownfields Grant funding.

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The Stiles Mill site, located along Deer Creek in downtown Nevada City, is scheduled to be cleaned up in the summer of 2014. Sierra Streams Institute is working with the U.S. EPA and the State Department of Toxic Substances Control to transform these sites and provide safe community access.

Leach is a California Professional Geologist with more than 20 years of experience in the environmental sciences and geology fields. For the past 15 years, he has worked in the Nevada County region, investigating and cleaning up abandoned gold mines.

He has worked 12 years as a consultant with the local engineering firm Holdrege and Kull, addressing mines on private property. For the past three years, he has worked with Sierra Streams Institute and other local nonprofits managing grant-funded projects cleaning up abandoned mines on public property.

This presentation is free, and the public is welcome and encouraged to attend. The Nevada County Campus is located at 250 Sierra College Drive, Grass Valley. Parking is $3 on campus and can be purchased at the kiosk machine at the main entrance to the campus.

For more information about this presentation and others in this series, contact series coordinator Jason Giuliani at

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