January 19, 2009
For Immediate Release For more information, call Marina Bernheimer 274.3760
PROPOSED IDAHO-MARYLAND MINE TO CAUSE “SIGNIFICANT” AND “UNAVOIDABLE” IMPACTS TO LOCAL AIR QUALITY
Blistering Report by local organization says that Draft EIR is “inadequate and incomplete”; Mine fails to evaluate numerous chemicals and pollutants
Grass Valley, CA – Save the Air in Nevada County (STA in NC), the organization founded two years ago to combat ozone air pollution in Nevada County, submitted comments to the City of Grass Valley today, stating that the draft environmental report for the proposed Idaho Maryland Mine is “inadequate and incomplete” and fails to identify and assess a number of chemicals and pollutants that will be used at the facility that are known to cause cancer.
STA in NC works with numerous local and state agencies and non-profit groups to correct the county’s ozone pollution problem. The group formed when the American Lung Association ranked Nevada County as having the 12th worst ozone pollution problem in the nation. Many of the organization’s members are parents with young children, who are very concerned about the potential lasting damage our areas high ozone levels could have on their children’s respiratory systems. Nevada County has a higher incidence of childhood asthma than the state average.
“This environmental impact report is hopelessly inadequate and irresponsibly incomplete,” said Marina Bernheimer, director of the organization. “This proposed project should have never even come this far because it directly violates the City’s Ozone and Air Quality Resolution it passed only 8 months ago.”
“The draft Environmental Report admits that many of the air quality problems associated with re-opening the Idaho Maryland Mine are “unavoidable” – essentially saying “We know we’re going to further pollute your air, and negatively affect your health, and there’s nothing we can do about it,” said Bernheimer.
In December, STA in NC retained the services of Tamura Environmental of Petaluma, a nationally respected air quality consulting firm that has worked on dozens of air quality conflicts over the past 15 years.
Among other things, the report’s findings conclude that:
- The DEIR fails to report and evaluate major sources of ozone air pollution;
- The DEIR fails to identify and assess a number of Hazardous Air Pollutants and Toxic Air contaminants;
- The DEIR fails to adequately quantify emissions of hydrofluoric and hydrochloric acids and the risks to human health;
- The DEIR fails to identify methylene chloride as a hazardous material. The chemical is a confirmed carcinogen and the Mine will use more than 26,000 gallons per year.
- The DEIR admits that up to two tons of sodium cyanide will be used at the Mine every three weeks but fails to quantify the emissions into the local air or the known health risks to humans.
The firm’s comments will be submitted by STA in NC to the City of Grass Valley and are available at www.stainnc.org.