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‘They’ll be around their whole lives breathing this toxic soup’: Mine impacts scrutinized during public forum

Local minister Sharon Delgado joined a panel of other local experts, to give their new findings on the proposed Rise Gold Idaho Maryland Mine re-opening Tuesday at the Universalist Unitarian Community of the Mountains in Grass Valley. Folks took in the information and were able to ask questions and voice concerns.
Photo: Elias Funez

A standing-room only crowd gathered Tuesday at the Universalist Unitarian Community of the Mountains in Grass Valley to hear the findings of a panel of individuals who have been delving into the more than 500-page Environmental Impact Report and Economic Impact documents regarding Rise Grass Valley, a subsidiary of Rise Gold Corp, and its proposed plans to reopen the Idaho-Maryland gold mine.

Among those findings was information showing that air quality over the 80-year duration of Rise Grass Valley’s operation of the mine would emit over 7 million pounds of airborne toxins and carcinogens.

“A few years ago, the American Lung Association gave Nevada County a grade F for air quality,” Dr. Jeff Kane said, crediting Sacramento’s drifting air pollution as a result. “That along with the endemic wildfires that we experience now means that we really can’t tolerate any more air toxicity.”



He went on to detail what would be emitted.

An audience member asks a question of Tuesday’s Rise Gold Mine forum panel held in Grass Valley. The majority of those in attendance expressed that they were opposed to the proposed re-opening of the mine.
Photo: Elias Funez

“I came across the estimations of airborne emissions from this project. They decided that the emissions were gross and needed mitigation,” Kane said. “This you see here is the best case scenario. During year one of the 80-year operation of the mine, they’re going to be emitting 90 pounds of carbon monoxide a day. A lot of particulates less than pm 2.5, composed of all kinds of things, diesel particulates, even asbestos. Do you know how far you’d have to drive your car to emit 90 pounds of carbon monoxide? 30,000 miles.”



Kane calculated that during a year of operating the mine at an estimated 300 days of operation, that roughly 32,652 pounds of toxic particulate matter would be emitted.

The Universalist Unitarian Community of the Mountains offered their sanctuary as a venue for Tuesday evening’s forum on the proposed Idaho Maryland Mine re-opening.
Photo: Elias Funez

“Years two through six, the next five years, they’re going to be using different equipment for different durations,” Kane said. “They’ll be producing 341 pounds per day, and after five years will emit another 512,415 pounds.”

Years seven through 12 will emit 598,320 pounds of emissions per year at an estimated 300 days of operation.

The total airborne toxins and carcinogens for the 80-year project was calculated at 7,117,119 pounds or 3600 tons.

Tim Ogburn speaks to the crowd during Tuesday’s forum held to discuss impacts of the proposed Idaho Maryland Mine reopening by Rise Gold Corp. Ogburn’s research took a look at the negative economic impacts of the proposed mine re-opening.
Photo: Elias Funez

“That does not include 200,000 annual minutes of diesel operating per year. So who does this effect? Well, old people, but people who are compromised in some way, and especially kids. Kids breathe more rapidly than adults do, so per pound of weight they move more air. Second, they also will be exposed to it for much longer. If this project happens, I won’t be around for much of it, but they’ll be around their whole lives breathing this toxic soup.”

Kane seemed surprised that there weren’t any young families in the audience.

“Please tell them that their kids are in danger if this thing passes,” Kane said to the audience.

Tuesday’s forum regarding the proposed Idaho Maryland Mine re-opening was standing room only.
Photo: Elias Funez

To contact Managing Editor Elias Funez email efunez@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.


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