Mary Anderson: Let the mine continue sleeping
In response to Robert Ross’s May 15 Other Voices, “Reopen the mine for world’s sake,” I would like to offer that those opposing reopening the long sleeping Idaho-Maryland Mine are not hysterical, obsessive, fearful NIMBYs, but a very thoughtful, organized group of people who love this community and don’t want to see it destroyed.
They have spent hours studying verified reports of the effect the mine may have on our community.
I would suggest you take a drive around the residential area surrounding the mine, none of which was here 50 years ago when the mine was operating, and note the significant number of properties where the mine is literally in their backyard. And as the county has had the benefit of property taxes received from those properties all these years, I think the owners should have a say about what goes into their backyards.
So yes, people are very concerned about not just the possible loss and/or pollution of well water, but 24/7 hour noise, the pollutant laden dust, and daily in and out truck traffic that this operation assuredly will bring, to name just a few. There is no guarantee that Rise Gold will be able to mitigate these issues.
As for the water issue alone, there is no plan in place to provide NID water except for a few properties near the mine on East Bennett. Do you have any idea how long it would take to develop a plan, run lines, and the cost to do so if a well happens to lose water? What about the fire hazard if properties lose water?
And let’s not forget the beauty of the landscape that will suffer or the huge carbon footprint from the tremendous amount of electricity that will be required. Since you seem to be concerned about the environment, I would think these things might concern you, too.
I suggest you look at the minewatchnc.org website so you might better understand our concerns. You might even find that gold, even though it has many applications, is still used primarily as a precious metal for jewelry and as a currency stash/investment.
As for monitoring, just because California has strict environmental standards is no guarantee that Rise Gold will meet those standards on an ongoing basis — for 80 years. Which government agencies will be doing this monitoring and how regularly?
Even if the county is “accurately able to test the mine’s spoils (pollutants?),” neither is that a guarantee that were there problems, they would be corrected. Then what? Does the mine shut down, go bankrupt and leave us with another mine site to clean up?
I would urge you to go to do some research on Rise Gold’s previous mining activities before you trust them to be leaders in safe, environmentally friendly mining. And if the “regulations which will be in place” don’t give us a “positive result” and a “clean mine operation,” what then?
Yes, environmentalism isn’t just about Grass Valley, but I do believe it starts at home.
Mary Anderson lives in Grass Valley.
He was a singer, like me. Charming, with a British accent, doing handyman work on my friend’s house. I was in love. And, I later found out, he had been sober for only two weeks…
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