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San Juan Ridge Taxpayers Association Asks County to Dismiss SJR Mine Permit Application

posted Jul 6, 2015, 1:08 PM by Kristin Snell

by the San Juan Ridge Taxpayers Association

In a letter dated April 23, SJRTA President Sol Henson asked Nevada County Planning Dept. staff to consider dismissing the use permit application for the San Juan Ridge Mine.  Text of the letter is below.  To date we have not received a reply, but plan to pursue this questions with the Planning Dept.  SJRTA will be collecting signatures on postcards this summer asking the department to dismiss the application.

As of the end of March 2015 it has been one full year since San Juan Mining Corporation unilaterally halted the Baseline Groundwater Monitoring Program (BGMP).  There appears to be no sign that the applicant will restart the monitoring program as they refuse to comply with the County’s monitoring requirements for groundwater quality.  This leads us to believe that the applicant is not serious about the requirements laid forth by the County and the expectations of a community that wishes to have adequate protection in light of past impacts.  The SJRTA and the San Juan Ridge community continue to support the content of the BGMP as well as the County requirement of one full year of water quality and well level monitoring in order to provide an adequate environmental review for the proposed project.

Despite the applicant’s refusal to collect the required water quality data, the applicant is still collecting well level data through the contractor, Cranmer Engineering.  Cranmer was downloading well level data as recently as the week of March 9th, 2015.  Does the applicant plan to complete the County required one full year of supply and water quality monitoring, or are they trying to only fulfill their water supply requirement with the hopes that they will not have to fulfill their water quality requirement?  This is a top concern in the San Juan Ridge community.

Additionally it is stated in the BGMP that as a result of Cranmer’s water quality and water supply data collection that this data will be shared with individual well owners.  To date this obligation has been satisfactorily met.  Residents did receive water quality data that was posted on the county website up until the end of March 2014 however residents have not received any data collected from the pressure transducers that were placed in the over 100 wells participating in the Monitoring Program.  Well owners on the BGMP are communicating to the SJRTA that they want to see the data that was promised to them.  More importantly, if the monitoring program is not going to continue based on the full requirements laid out by the County then shouldn’t the sensors be removed from wells at this time?

If the applicant has no intention of moving forward with their water quality monitoring obligations as part of the environmental review process then we request that the application be dismissed.  At the very least, shouldn’t a timeline be adopted by which the applicant must fulfill their monitoring requirement, based on one continuous baseline year?  At this point our opinion is that they would need to start over again.  We would greatly appreciate your response to these questions and concerns.

For more information about the SJRTA and their projects, please visit them on the web at sjrtaxpayers.org.  You can also contact them by phone at 478.1941. 

 

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