GV OKs $40,000 for mine water problem | TheUnion.com

GV OKs $40,000 for mine water problem

The city of Grass Valley could spend another $40,000 to figure out how to process contaminated water from a mine portal discovered at the city’s wastewater treatment plant two years ago.

The city, which in 2000 settled a federal lawsuit for allegedly allowing contaminated mineshaft water into Wolf Creek, has already spent $60,000 on legal fees.

On Tuesday, the Grass Valley City Council unanimously voted to spend $40,000 to pay legal and consulting fees to find out how the wastewater should be processed. The council voted after discussing the matter in closed session.

Mike V. Brady, the Sacramento-based attorney hired to represent the city, and other city officials have repeatedly said Colorado-based Newmont Mining Corp. owns the mineshaft.

In October 2000, Newmont and the city agreed to split the cost of the studies to determine how to handle the effluent that is now diverted through the plant.

The studies are examining three scenarios: plug the mineshaft, build a separate plant to process the effluent, or continue to have the water go through the plant.

City consultant Jeff Hauser, a principal with Eco:Logic of Rocklin, said the favored option is to plug the mineshaft.

“But it might not be possible,” Hauser said Tuesday before the meeting. “It might get out somewhere else.”

City workers estimate that, depending on the weather, the plant processes 300,000 gallons to 1 million gallons of mineshaft water every day.

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