On the prowl: Idaho-Maryland mine opponents seek petition signatures

Those opposed to the proposed reopening of the Idaho-Maryland mine by Rise Grass Valley have stepped up their campaign. MineWatch representatives will be at various locations this Sunday, collecting signatures and distributing information.
Photo: Elias Funez

Janet Cinquegrana says she and her husband have agreed to sell their Grass Valley home and move out, if the proposed reopening of the Idaho-Maryland mine occurs.

Cinquegrana was part of a group of Mine Watch volunteers Friday afternoon who were at the entrance to Valentina’s Bistro in Grass Valley, collecting signatures and speaking to people about the opposition to the mine.

“Right now it’s a nice place, but I doubt it will stay that way,” she said of the plan to reopen the mine. As well as having environmental concerns, she said she fears reopening the mine will cause property values ​​to plummet.

“They should think, right now, it’s a tourist area – people come here to go to the little shops and stuff,” Cinquegrana said. “They don’t want to do that if there are diesel trucks going up and down, all the pollution, air and water pollution, noise.”

Trucks will make up to 100 trips a day, an average of 50, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.

They will transport artificial fill, or waste rock and sand waste, generated by the digging of underground tunnels. The proposed plans identify two truck routes: a route between the Brunswick and Centennial sites, along Brunswick Road and Whispering Pines Lane; and a road between the Brunswick site and Highway 20/49, along Brunswick Road.

A MineWatch table is set up outside Valentina’s Bistro in Grass Valley for people wanting more information on how to oppose the reopening of the Idaho-Maryland mine.
Photo: Elias Funez

On her motivation to volunteer with MineWatch, Nevada City resident Debbie Van Dusen said, “I actually came here because I’m just – and we heard that from a lot of people who stopped by. the table today – so surprised that we’re even talking about this kind of environmental destruction and project just below Grass Valley.

Van Dusen said Friday that she supports the “no mine” effort primarily because of concerns about environmental damage. She also said that “everyone” she spoke to at the table that day had expressed opposition to the reopening of the mine, although some did not know much about the subject.

“People want to educate themselves and know more about it, and maybe they haven’t had the chance to do that before, so we’re trying to be a little more public and be available. to answer some questions and give people answers,” she said.

Ben Mossman – chairman of Rise Grass Valley, the company seeking to reopen the mine – said in a statement that the draft environmental impact report was “a major step towards formal oversight board review and decision to Approval of Idaho-Maryland Mining Project.

“The results of the county’s independent study and project analysis speak for themselves; there is no significant impact on water quality, groundwater, air quality, or the natural environment,” Mossman wrote.

A public meeting on the mine’s draft environmental impact report is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Thursday at the Eric Rood Administrative Center, 950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City. The purpose of the meeting is to hear public comments regarding the draft EIR on the proposed project, which county staff released in January.


The petition on which volunteers were collecting signatures on Friday read, “Nevada County businesses, landlords and conservationists are uniting to protect our neighborhoods, our local economy and our quality of life from Rise’s proposal. Gold to reopen the Idaho-Maryland mine,” adding that the signatories urge the County Board of Supervisors to reject the proposal.

According to Cinquegrana, this is not an “official petition” in that the signers had to be registered voters, but rather for the purpose of registering community support for the group’s cause.

Traci Sheehan of the Community Environmental Advocates Foundation, which sponsors MineWatch, said in an email Thursday that volunteers would meet again at various locations on Sunday.

These will include Valentina’s, as well as Flour Garden Bakery and Natural Selections in Grass Valley, and Robinson Plaza and Three Forks Bakery and Brewing in Nevada City.

According to a press release from the foundation, the filing will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is part of a “week of action” that will end next Thursday – when the Nevada County Planning Commission is due to hold a meeting. at the Eric Rood Administrative Center.

A “People Power Rally” opposing the reopening of the mine is to be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Brunswick Gate of the Idaho-Maryland mine, near Wood Rose Way, according to a statement. Participants are encouraged to bring “No Mine” signs and noisemakers.

Victoria Penate is an editor for The Union. She can be contacted at [email protected]


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