TO: INTERESTED PARTIES
FROM: GRASS VALLEY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT
SUBJECT: APPLICATION DEEMED COMPLETE / PREPARATION OF AN UPDATED DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT TO BEGIN
This status report provides a brief summary of the Idaho-Maryland Mine project and its next steps. The City released a Draft Environmental (EIR) for a public review period extending from October 30, 2008 to January 20, 2009. Though the City received numerous comments on the Draft EIR, the City did not proceed with the preparation of a Final EIR since the applicant, the Idaho-Maryland Mining Corporation (IMMC), stated they were revising their project in 2009. As a result, the environmental review process and the applications were placed on hold by the City, pending a resubmittal of new information or revised application materials by IMMC.
On April 8, 2011, the City received revised applications for the Idaho-Maryland Mine project. After reviewing this initial packet and additional submittals, staff declared the applications to be complete on May 24, 2011. Though the project still largely matches their original proposal, a gold mining project with a ceramics plant and a certain level of aggregate rock production, staff noted a number of proposed changes. The applicant represented in their application materials that a significant portion of these changes were folded into their operation as a way to lessen the environmental impacts of their project. Some of the more significant changes proposed by the applicant include:
• All treatment and discharge of mine water will occur at the Idaho-Maryland site. The water treatment plant proposed for the New Brunswick site has been eliminated. Water will be pumped from New Brunswick and conveyed via a new Bennett Street water line.
• A new potable water trunk line is proposed to be installed in the Brunswick Road area.
• The crushing of waste rock into aggregate material will be done within an indoor facility.
• A number of on-site operational components were modified to reduce greenhouse gases.
• The type and flow of traffic generated by the project will change. All traffic to and from the site will be via Idaho-Maryland Road, Bennett Street will be not used for access. The shift schedules for most employees were changed from three to two 12-hour shifts.
In light of this new information and updated applications, a new updated Draft EIR will be prepared and released for public review and comment. City Staff is currently working with Environmental Science Associates (ESA), the City’s environmental consultant for this project, to develop a scope of work, budget and schedule to complete the revised Draft EIR. It is anticipated that certain agreements seeking to start the environmental process maybe before the City Council on July 26, 2011. The agreements would include the following; 1) an agreement between ESA and the City for preparation of the Draft EIR, 2) an agreement between IMMC and the City for reimbursing the City for all processing costs, and 3) an agreement between a mining consultant and the City for providing specialized expertise in mining operations (to the City). If the agreements are executed in late July or August, a preliminary projection for when the Draft EIR would be released is the winter of 2012. Once a schedule is confirmed for the preparation and release of a Draft EIR, it will be posted on the City’s website and made available for public review.
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