Tuesday’s Nevada County Board of Supervisors meeting was full of praise, presentations, and board endorsements.
However, public comments on topics ranging from homelessness to the possible reopening of a mine in Idaho-Maryland were in the spotlight on Tuesday morning.
“We ask that you simply say no, please do not certify this erroneous EIR and approve the project,” Lori Oberholzer told board members regarding the upcoming mine decisions.
Olberholzer, a current member of the Society for the Defenders of the Environment (CEA), a former Nevada mayor and planning commissioner, warned of the long-term consequences that approval of the mine’s reopening could have.
“Do we want to have an erroneous EIR in our records that can be used in the future by the next Canadian gold miner?” Olbergoltz said.
Olberholzer reminded the board of directors that 6,500 people had signed up against the project, along with 15 local and national groups.
“The bottom line is that the vast majority of the population does not want the Idaho-Maryland mine to reopen,” Olberholzer said. “The many environmental impacts associated with this project, as well as non-compliance with both Grass Valley’s and the county’s land use plans, provide reasonable grounds for rejecting the project.”
Ralph Silberstein, also of the CEA, noted that the county’s final environmental impact report (EIR), released late last year, contains no plans to clean up the Centennial site, a 56-acre historically polluted site near Whispering Pines and Centennial Drive in Grass. Valley.
“Instead, Rise has included what it believes are the underlying conditions that could arise,” Silberstein said of the proposed cleanup. “After it is cleared, Rise intends to dump mine waste there for about five years, but the cleanup has not been completed at this time.”
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) states that the current conditions of a project must be assessed so that the environment can be impacted and appropriate mitigation measures can be taken.
“The EIR is left to wonder what two mine strikes could have been in this area,” Zilberstein said. “This final EIR is not CEQA compliant.”
Nevada County has previously said that the issue of reopening the mine will be brought before the county planning commission no earlier than February of this year, and eventually before the board of overseers.
Response to eviction in accordance with the code
Community members also lined up to speak on the topic of local rule evictions, which were highlighted by community activists rejected by the case surrounding Tanya Scarlett, who was reportedly forced by the county to evict four families living in substandard apartment buildings on her property in Nevada County.
Scarlett was there to speak directly to board members and ask for a one-year “pause” on low-priority involuntary relocations that could affect people in a similar situation to her and her tenants.
“My case is an example of low priority,” Scarlett said. “There was no immediate danger to tenants or me on the site, if there was, the county would not allow tenants to stay for six months.
“Unauthorized vans and trailers are moving from one unauthorized location to another. When compliance came to my property, they could approach me as the owner of the property and ask, “How can we make this work?” They didn’t, it was very punitive. I was told that I was creating a burden on the county by posting people. I created space for people when people had nowhere to go.”
“I could have allowed one of these buildings, but I was never given directions on how to do it, and to be honest, I was so traumatized by the whole experience that I gave up, as did the tenants,” Scarlett told board members. “They are not doing well, they will not have good living conditions, I don’t care what anyone says, they don’t feel well, mentally and physically, so we ask, please, we can do better and we can work with you to create a solution that keeps everyone healthy and safe.”
While oversight bodies usually ignore public comments, Nevada County Board of Supervisors Chairman Ed Scofield assured speakers that their concerns had been heard and that a meeting with the Coalition for Compassionate Governance was in the works.
“We’re definitely listening to what’s being said,” Scofield told the Coalition for Compassionate Governance. “We will work with you the best we can.”