June 26, 2019 
 Wednesday 
 
 

Forum
Topic:
Water and Arsenic: which came first?

       

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 By martin newkom

12/16/2011  9:58AM

Again, congrats.!! The water board
has had their budget trimmed and
needs the difference and they do
not care how they get it. They
also don't know that they are
dealing with very competent legal
provider and a very realistic
jurist.
 By Michael Miller

12/15/2011  3:51PM

Just received word about the lawsuit decision. The judge ruled against the water staff so the company won. Following is the notice sent to me this morning by our attorney:

“Hi Mike – I received the Court’s ruling on the summary judgment – summary judgment denied, without reaching the due process issues. Judge Kennelly apparently tried to interpret the statute in a way that avoids the constitutional challenges, by suggesting that the Water Board was required to do an analysis of the violations and penalties despite the mandatory penalty language. I will scan a copy of the decision to you, in case you haven’t received a copy yet.”

Judge Kennelly wrote a very thoughtful opinion. Instead of ruling on the due process issue we raised he recognized that the water agency staff took portions of a detailed statute to justify the merits of the lawsuit. His decision thusly avoids a constitutional challenge, one we are prepared to argue.

Now the central valley water board and the Governor have the chance to look into just how the water agency staff is using statutes and regulations to levy fines, delays and causing unnecessary expenses. The water board preempted the laws as intended by the legislature. The outcome of this failed motion goes beyond our case. A challenge to Sacramento to correct draconian decisions that have hurt California, especially in the blue collar workforce is at hand.
 By Rick

12/11/2011  4:39PM

Is it only "case law" that can be cited in appeals?

I'm not suggesting the need for an appeal, since I am a pragmatic realistic optimist with justice and reality on my side, when considering the pending decision facing our mine. BUT in the event one is needed, the testimony text below is damning to the crooks cause in any event.

The fact that such blatant hypocrisy even escapes the same entity's voices speaks volumes:

Grounds for appeal, I'd say.

And while a $3K fine is still aggregious, perhaps send the check now.

When we finally get these un-elected effers out of there, we'll find a bunch-o-gold.
 By Michael Miller

12/09/2011  12:23PM

The Grass Valley newspaper (The Union) front page article titled, “Victims or Culprits? Colfax hurt by regulation or irresponsible stewards?” contains quotes by Congressman Tom McClintock said from the House floor on December 1. The Assemblyman said, “Over the past several years, this little town has been utterly plundered by regulatory and litigatory excesses that have pushed the town to the edge of bankruptcy and ravaged families already struggling to make ends meet.” He called the practices a “unconscionable”. HELLO out there! Everyone familiar with the Sixteen to One knows this to be true. But read the following written by the Central Valley Water Board staff and presented to the full board at its December 1 public meeting. It is the staff’s exact words.

Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board
30 November, 1-2 December 2011 Board Meeting
Prosecution Team’s Response to Comments
Tentative Administrative Civil Liability Order for the City of Colfax Wastewater Treatment Plant Placer County


“The following are Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (Central Valley Water Board) Prosecution Team responses to comments submitted interested parties regarding the tentative Administrative Civil Liability Order (ACLO) for the City of Colfax Wastewater Treatment Plant. The Advisory Team extended the public comment deadline from 6 October 2011 to 13 October 2011.

“Issue No. 4: Failure to conduct receiving water monitoring or report results
Background: MMPs do not apply to the failure to conduct monitoring or to report results. These actions are considered deficient monitoring violations or deficient reporting violations and are only subject to discretionary enforcement actions. In general, when Board staff reviews monitoring reports and discovers these types of violations, it responds by issuing an NOV. The NOV will require the discharger to describe the actions it will take to stop the violations identified by staff.

“Issue No. 5: Failure to monitor the ponds
MMPs do not apply to the failure to conduct monitoring or to report results. These actions are considered deficient monitoring violations or deficient reporting violations and are only subject to discretionary enforcement actions. In general, when Board staff reviews monitoring reports and discovers these types of violations, it responded by issuing an NOV. The NOV will require the discharger to describe the actions it will take to stop the violations identified by staff.
Prosecution Team Response: Although the MRP requires that dissolved oxygen be monitored in the groundwater, the Prosecution Team will recommend that the Permitting group remove this constituent when the permit is updated in 2012. Some consultants measure dissolved oxygen while they purge a monitoring well because it is one of several parameters which can be used to determine when formation water is being recovered. It can also be used as a surrogate for petroleum hydrocarbon contamination, but that is not a concern at this facility. It is very unusual to require that dissolved oxygen be measured in the groundwater at wastewater treatment facilities, and it is not a “waste constituent” as described in the Groundwater Limitations. Prosecution staff disagree that there was any violation to report regarding dissolved oxygen.

“Issue No. 8: Failure to monitor the groundwater
Background: MMPs do not apply to the failure to conduct monitoring. These actions are considered deficient monitoring violations and are only subject to discretionary enforcement actions. In general, when Board staff reviews monitoring reports and discovers these types of violations, it responded by issuing an NOV. The NOV will require the discharger to describe the actions it will take to stop the violations identified by staff.
Prosecution Team Response: The monthly monitoring reports indicate that wells G-001 and G-002 were dry and did not have enough groundwater to sample for the above months. There is no violation if a discharger is physically unable to collect a sample.

“Issue No. 12: Additional Enforcement should be considered
Comment No. 1: The City of Colfax has committed many violations over a period of several years: however, the Central Valley Water Board has been forgiving to a fault in the face of the numerous effluent violations with the reasons given being the small size of the City and the financial hardships it faces to deal with a complex and potentially expensive situation. (SARA) The proposed waiver of penalties is inadequate and excessive (FONF).
Prosecution Team Response: The Central valley Water Board’s ultimate goal is the prosecution of water quality and beneficial uses of water of the State. To this end, the Board uses a number of regulatory approaches to ensure compliance at hundreds of wastewater treatment plants we regulate. Board staff acknowledged that the City of Colfax has had a long history of violations; however, this has also been the case for a number of other facilities because of the Board’s limited resources and need to prioritize. Prior to 2001, the Board addressed the problems at Colfax through requirement in its NPDES permits. In 2001, the Board renewed Colfax’s NPDES permit and issued a companion CDO to bring Colfax’s discharge into compliance. Subsequent CDOs issued in 2007 and 2010 were intended to keep the City under a regulatory structure to keep it on a path to compliance in light of the unique factors and circumstances that have kept the City from achieving compliance.
In 2000, the CWC was amended to include MMPs for effluent violations. The CWC also authorized the Board to require publically owned treatment works serving a small community with financial hardship to apply MMPs towards a compliance project designed to correct violations in lieu of assessing MMPs. In 2003, the Board issued an ACLO which required Colfax to spend a total of $351,000 on a compliance project in lieu of assessing MMPs. In 2008, the Board issued an ACLO for additional effluent violations and required Colfax to spend a total of $234,000 on a compliance project. Recognizing that Colfax is a small community with financial hardship, and allowing the MMPs to be applied to the compliance projects is a practical approach taken by the Board and is specifically authorized by the Legislature.
The wastewater treatment plant did not have an effluent flow meter from 1 January 2009 through 28 July 2010. Effluent flows were estimated bases on a flow meter within the treatment plant. This was a permit violation, but is not subject to MMPs. The City is now in compliance and Prosecution staff does not recommend further discretionary enforcement actions.”


I sincerely ask that you read the staff report to the same board that seeks $2.245,000 from the mining company due to its failure to file 13 reports, which by de4finition were not required according to the actual water situation on our property. We have no effluent. The water is surface or ground water. We are small and broke. We did “fail to conduct monitoring or to report results” as the staff comments about at “Issue No. 4”. Also we had serious weather related issues to even get to Kanaka Creek. What do you get from these contradictions? What else can we do to stop this regulatory and litigatory overzealous and predatory treatment?

NOTES OF IMPORTANCE from the same report:
1. Page 2. MMPs are also assessed for failure to file a monitoring report. However MMPs are not assessed if a monitoring report is submitted but is incomplete. Our reports are filed after notice of this clause.
2. Page 2. MMPs only apply to effluent limit violations of any limit defined in the NPDES permit, including surface water, groundwater, operational, or toxicity limitations. MMM declaration states that water is groundwater or surface water and nothing is added by operator.
3. Last paragraph recognizes small and financial hardship.
4. Senate Bill No 2165 February 25, 2000, Section 1(f): For purposes of this section, a single operational upset that leads to simultaneous violations of more than one pollutant parameter shall be treated as a single violation. In other words, $3,000.
 By cw3343

10/10/2011  4:08PM

Thank you for the timely updates, and all of the hard work.

Good luck to all!
 By Michael Miller

10/08/2011  2:25PM

In early 2011, the State Water Resources Control Board ("SWRCB") released three draft statewide NPDES permits for public review and comment. To say that these permits were not well received by the regulated community (i.e., small municipalities, CalTrans and industrial business owners) is an understatement. In a rare intervention by members of the state legislature into the realm of state agencies, the Senate Select Committee on California Job Creation and Retention held an informational hearing on the draft permits on October 6, 2011. The message from the hearing came across loud and clear: time for a do-over.

The State Water Board received an overwhelming number of comments, most opposing the new permits. It comes down to dollars and sense. The proposed new limits have no foundatio0n in science, would cost water districts and industrial users (which will be passed on the public). Best management practices (BMP’s) must be the guidelines for regulating water in California. Science does not support numeric limitations, especially in natural storm water runoff. Also since these limitations are artificially created years ago (without science support) the Sixteen to One must be relieved from the claims alleged in the water initiated lawsuit.
 By bluejay

10/08/2011  10:55AM

The Original Sixteen To One Mine has for years been subjected to discrimination by Water Board officials. Who will address that crime?

The bogus regulations that the AG states that have been violated by the Company were never amended when the mill was closed. This is a fact that just will not go away.

The 30 day nonsense holds no water.

It would appear that the Mine is being sued, not for legitimate reasons, but for other possible ulterior motives and, or, an issue only of who and why at the Board didn't dot the "i's" and cross the "t's" in their rule book when the mill was closed.

I have full confidence that an honorable judge will clearly see what is exactly taking here by a corrupt accusing Water Board that is either acting as a rogue entity of injustice or is being used as a tool for stealing by someone behind the curtain.

The U.S. government has had a city below the Denver Airport built for their prominent members in case of a massive impending danger. My question is if mankind is threatened, where will the Sacramento politicians run for cover? Who've got it. Also, it doesn't hurt having a landing strip near-by.
 By Michael Miller

10/07/2011  1:08PM

Hark, hark. Don Russell’s Mountain Messenger article is posted under NEWS on the FORUM. Don was in attendance at the September 23, 2011 hearing. Like most familiar with the facts of the Water agency claim for $2.14 million, he has an opinion. Like Don, his opinions are on the front page of the newspaper.
 By bluejay

09/27/2011  4:17PM

During the time that the reports weren't filed with one State agency, another one had hired a lynch mob to attack us which cost us valuable time and resources in defending ourselves. Forget about mining and the shareholders, we've been selected by the tyrants to pay the salaries of the Water board and to balance the State's seriously out-of-control budget implosion.

No wonder the vast majority of mining companies have no interest in setting up shop in California. For the few that persist like Emgold, Sutter Gold, New Gold and ourselves, I can only wish you well.

Hopefully, the bureaucrats in Sacramento come to their senses in supporting a responsible mining industry instead of stealing their assets and preventing them from attending to their industry work.

I am beside myself why my State representatives choose to ignore my concerns of suspected heavy handed-ness by the Central Water Board. Who is running my State?

It certainly is not the residents who ask for explanations when they suspect some person or political entity is out to destroy their investment.
 By Michael Miller

09/26/2011  6:06PM

I remain confident that the water agency’s motion for summary judgment will not pass the scrutiny of the Court. I expect the ruling to be: Motion Denied.

Cautious and concerned, yes we remain until the decision is filed (the Court has 90 days to make a decision). When presented with an up front question of outcome, spectators in the courtroom said it was obvious that the Water agency loses. A defense and arguments remain; therefore, the Sixteen must have its day to challenge the facts alleged by plaintiff’s $2,145,000 claim of damages to California’s public for not filing 13 reports.

Thanks to all of you who offered your prayers and well wishes. Those voices of support make a difference in our attempt to stop a monstrous injustice.

I apologize for the delay in reporting the results. Our Internet went out Saturday. I was unable to let you know until late today. Tomorrow I’ll dig deeper into this lawsuit and tell you about the most unbelievable position that the Water Board says it has the “policy “ to not do. Friends, the public is in serious danger!
 By cw3343

09/26/2011  2:51PM

What happened on Friday? I am hoping for some good news...
 By REAP

09/24/2011  8:40PM

How did it go? I've been rooting for you!
 By martin newkom

09/23/2011  3:41PM

I think the judge will turn this
Summary Judgement aside. The State
premise is absolutely prepostrous.
 By smithsgold

09/23/2011  1:39PM

Best of Luck today !!!!
 By Rick

09/22/2011  6:59PM

Mag...

Whether or not filters are effective, cheap or or otherwise, to answer your question regarding "constant":

Arsenic levels are ambient upstream and downstream of the Original Sixteen to One Mine due to the natural deposition of arsenopyrite. It is NOT the business of the to remediate a naturally occuring elemental.

IT IS THE BUSINESS of the Original Sixteen to One Mine to fight the spurious allegation that the mine is resposible for such.

Perhaps your suggestion should be deployed a few miles above the Kanaka Creek site. AND, perhaps you should recognize that this private sector business isn't responsible for ambient arsenic levels which have existed there long before man settled there.

YOU SHOULD INSTEAD question why the Water Board thugs are trying to exterminate a private sector entity by Chicago style political motives.
 By Magnum44

09/21/2011  3:30PM

Sorry, but what do you mean by constant? The arsenical sulphides are naturally occurring. Large sono filters would take out the suspended arsenic making a very clean creek. They are passive and use no power. The filter uses gravel, wood and fine ground iron sand. Something like black sand only much finer. Cheap and very effective.
 By martin newkom

09/21/2011  12:09PM

Isn't there some kind of statute
of limitations on the issue?
We will pray!!!
 By Michael Miller

09/21/2011  10:51AM

PLEASE THINK ABOUT COMING TO COURT

Friday, September 23, 2011 at 1:30pm the Superior Court will hear a motion by the California water agency and Attorney General for a Summary Judgment.

Between April 1, 2006 and April1, 2007, the mine failed to file 13 water monitoring reports. The agency wants $2,145,000 damages and says there are no facts to dispute its claim. If granted the mine will not have had both an administrating hearing or a hearing in a courtroom.

If you are in the area, think about coming to support the mine.
Sincerely, Mike Miller and the crew
 By Rick

04/15/2011  5:51PM

Magnum, perhaps a good start, except:

Arsenic is as arsenopyrite naturally occuring within the geo-structure on the divide, above the Mine as well as below, and to remediate a recurring natural mineral would be contrary to the constant.
 By Magnum44

04/15/2011  9:01AM

Some time back I discovered an arsenic filter on the net called a sono filter. Cheap to make and build. No cost to use. What are needed are industrial/mine size sono filters. It is patented and in widespread use in Bangladesh for making clean/safe water. Based on iron and arsenic's terrific fondness for each other. They bond like mercury and gold. Looked promising. Something to check out and ponder.

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