Who is ignoring whom?
Re: Your opinion on the 16-to-1 dispute:
I agree with the conclusion of The Union. However, to claim that the mine’s management has essentially blown off the state for years is not entirely accurate. In April of 1997 and in May of 1998, then Mining Engineer Jason Burke sent a letter to the board stating that the current monitoring schedule was excessive in light of fairly consistent test results, and requested a cut-back in monitoring. The state did not respond. The mine notified the state board when the entire crew was laid off on Feb. 12, 1999, that it did not have the resources to perform the monitoring as required. The state did not respond.
For three consecutive years, the mine refused to pay the $2,000 annual fee imposed by the water board and sent a letter to the board requesting re-classification of the discharge. The mine received one letter back in 1999 to which they promptly replied and never received another response from the state.
Regarding the $20,000 civil liability, it was under administrative review until March of 1999. In May of 2000, the mine sent a letter to the Deputy Attorney General explaining that it could not pay the fine for financial reasons and requested that an alternative to paying the liability be permitted. The alternative suggested was to set up a program in conjunction with the California Division of Mines to research and implement beneficial uses for the mine waste. The reply to this request was just received dated Feb. 19, 2002, denying the request.
The environmental community does seem willing to work with the mine as evidenced by SYRCL’s suggestion that perhaps they can move their monitoring point on Kanaka Creek closer to the mine so their results can become part of the data the mine is required to gather.
Cranmer Engineering can attest to the mine’s inability to pay for the monitoring. When the choice is having PG&E cut off for lack of payment or paying a lab for water testing, the choice is not difficult to make.
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From all the residents of Grass Valley Senior Apartments, thank you to the firefighters, police department air support and everyone who responded to the Bennett Fire. God bless you all. You are all heroes.