Short meeting at Grass Valley City Council |

Short meeting at Grass Valley City Council

Discoloration of rocks and brush is apparent on the side of the Magenta Stream, which flowed from the Empire Mine State Historic Park on East Empire Street in this 2011 file photo.
John Hart | The Union

This week’s meeting of the Grass Valley City Council took less than 20 minutes to complete.

The council reviewed and approved the city’s official response to the Nevada County Civil Grand Jury.

It was passed through a voice vote as part of the consent calendar without debate or discussion.

The city will now send a four-page letter, signed by Mayor Dan Miller and Vice Mayor Jason Fouyer, to Candace Heidelberger, presiding judge of the Superior Court of Nevada County.

“… the grand jury’s report concerning water flow from the Drew Tunnel and Magenta Drain is missing essential information, and accordingly, draws the wrong conclusions. The city appreciates this opportunity to tell the fuller story(,)” the letter reads.

It contains 15 separate points of response, largely dealing with factual inaccuracies in the grand jury report.

One of the grand jury’s findings was that … “Due to a lack of agency cooperation to address the problems effectively and efficiently, public health is potentially endangered.”

The city refutes that point.

“The City has been successfully treating Drew Tunnel flows and has been working with Regional Water Quality Control Board, amongst other agencies, to resolve this issue for many years … Public health is not endangered from the Drew Tunnel flows, because the contaminants in the flows are aesthetic issues (i.e. taste, color, and odor), and the City’s WWTP (waste water treatment plant) is effectively removing these aesthetic issues during the treatment process and prior to discharge of treated effluent to Wolf Creek.

The city also refuted the grand jury’s assertion that the city had failed to test water quality in, around, or downstream from the water treatment plant.

“The City does testing in accordance with the City’s RWQCB permit both upstream and downstream of our WWTP and has done so for years. Additionally, the City’s permit requires extensive testing of the plant effluent prior to discharge to Wolf Creek,” the city’s response read. The staff report, and the accompanying letter to the Superior Court, can be found on the city’s website.

The council also heard an update on the city’s Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan and Self Evaluation.

Check back with The Union for more information on that process.

To contact Staff Writer Dave Brooksher, email or call 530-477-4230.

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