Mineral Resources (NOT CHECKED) in Notice of Preparation / Initial Study PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 14 November 2009

When old gold miners have a hunch something of value is buried deep somewhere, they have the natural ingrained tenacity to keep digging, until they either go bust, drop dead, or find it. In reviewing this CEQA initial study report, and preparing written comments for submittal. I notice something, so obscure anyone but a seasoned old prospector would probably not take notice of, or take the time to inspect. Nor, for that matter make the effort to ferret out its worth, if any.

Now, imagine an old gold miner, hunched over a prospect hole, he had laboriously dug into for days on end.

Suddenly, he stands, inspects something in his hand, and shouts.......Eureka! I found it!

Then, does quick little jig, places his find, in his poke, and sets off towards the nearest town at a fast pace, chuckling to himself, as he goes.

Reality is, that’s not the actual scene. But, the circumstance is the same. Follow along, if you wish.
________________________________
Page. 28 & 29
Notice of Preparation / Initial Study
Project No. 09.005

The environmental factors checked below would potentially be affected by this project (i.e., the project would involve at least one impact that is a “Potentially Significant Impact”), as indicated by the checklist on the following pages.

CHECK LIST

Aesthetics (checked)
Air Quality (checked)
Biological Resources (checked)
Cultural Resources (checked)
Hazards and Hazardous Materials (checked)
Hydrology/Water Quality (checked)
Noise (checked)
Recreation (checked)
Mandatory Findings of Significance (checked)
Mineral Resources (NOT CHECKED)
Signed, John McCamman, Chief Deputy Director 10/26/09
_______________________________________________________________________

The Chief Deputy Director of CDFG has made a knowingly deliberate, and utterly false official written statement here, by not checking the “Mineral Recourse” checklist box in this official CEQA initial study report. The consequence, of which might not seem readily apparent, nor even significant. However, I assure you, it is strikingly significant in several differing aspects involved here.

It is common knowledge, and utterly indisputable that gold, platinum, and other associated extremely valuable minerals are certainly “Mineral Resources”.

It is common knowledge, and utterly indisputable that these valuable mineral resources certainly exist as placer deposits, within waterways throughout California.

It is common knowledge, and utterly indisputable that “suction dredging” is a widespread modern efficient small scale mining method thoughout California.
Clearly, that is what triggered this CEQA study.

It is common knowledge, and utterly indisputable that small scale suction dredging is usually profitable. Otherwise, no prudent person would invest in a suction dredge, nor spend time performing arduous labor to do it.

It is common knowledge, and utterly indisputable that relatively significant amounts of gold, and other valuable minerals are recovered by small scale suction dredging annually in California.

Given this indisputable series of facts. It is not possible by any stretch of imagination, or reality. That the Chief Deputy Director of CDFG, the very state agency that regulates all suction dredge permitting statewide throughout California, could assert small scale “suction dredging” does not involve, nor have a potentially significant impact on “Mineral Resources” within California.

Doing so, clearly and profoundly impugns the Chief Deputy Directors professional credibility, as well as destroys the reliability and total integrity of the very CEQA study, he now directs. Why the head of public agency would make a deliberate false statement in an official state document, is by itself incredulous. So, giving him the benefit of doubt, that is sane, there must be some other devious factor behind him doing it.

Impart, I gather no one caught this in the 1994 CEQA study, nor to date. If that is fact, then, I would assume the thinking in the present day high circles of CDFG is;

We got away with it once back then. No one ever caught on. Lets just do it again, here.

WRONG ANSWER

The reason that check list box is not checked, involves both CEQA & Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA) provisions.

The CEQA provisions impart are:

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines Appendix G states that a project would have a significant impact on mineral resources if it would:

a. Result in the loss of availability of a known mineral resource that would be of value to the region and the residents of the state.

b. Result in the loss of a locally important mineral resource recovery site delineated on a local general plan, specific plan, or other land use plan.

(note, USFS & BLM lands -open to mineral entry- are all covered with federal land use plans that provide for both mining claims & mining on them)

SMARA provisions provide for a mineral lands inventory process termed classification-designation. The California Division of Mines and Geology, and the State Mining and Geology Board are responsible for administering this process and have statutory authority over it.

Areas are classified on the basis of geologic factors, without regard to existing land use and land ownership. The areas are categorized into four Mineral Resource Zones (MRZs).

The primary goal of the mineral land classification is to ensure that the mineral potential of the land is recognized by government decision-makers and considered before making land use decisions that could preclude mining.

CGS’s Special Publication 51 provides the guidance for MRZ identification; the criteria for establishing the zones are based on four general categories:

MRZ-1 applies to areas where adequate information indicates that no significant mineral deposits are present, or where it is judged that little likelihood exists for their presence.

MRZ-2 applies to areas where adequate information indicates that significant mineral deposits are present, or where it is judged that a high likelihood exists for their presence.

MRZ-3 applies to areas containing mineral deposits, the significance of which cannot be evaluated.

MRZ-4 applies to areas where available information is inadequate for assignment to any other zone.

Of the four categories, lands classified as MRZ-2 are of the greatest importance.

Such areas are underlain by demonstrated mineral resources where geologic data indicate significant measured or indicated resources are present. MRZ-2 areas designated by the Mining and Geology Board as "regionally significant" are incorporated by regulation into Title 14,Division 2 of the California Code of Regulations.

Such designations require that a lead agency’s land use decisions involving designated areas be made in accordance with its mineral resource management policies, and that it consider the importance of the mineral resource to the region or the state as a whole, not just to the lead agency’s jurisdiction.

SMARA provisions also exempt from permitting "prospecting for, or the extraction of, minerals for commercial purposes where the removal of overburden or mineral product totals less than 1,000 cubic yards in any one location, and the total surface area disturbed is less than one acre". Public Resources Code § 2714 (d)

Given that provisions of CEQA mandate SMARA application in a CEQA project, if “Mineral Resources“ are involved. Another set of governing standards must be included within this CEQA process, otherwise it is fundamentally flawed from the onset, and any result, or determination made within it is illegitimate, and contrary to law.

The reason, CDFG intentionally omitted “Mineral Resources” is that whatever the outcome, when SMARA is included. SMARA determinations & law, would conflict with the purpose, and intent of CDFG’s findings. The end result being SMARA says you can, CDFG determinations, and any resulting regulations says you cannot.

Which would be arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion or otherwise not in accordance with law, any way it might appear in CEQA documents.

Obviously, CDFG must have an Attorney Generals legal opinion to clarify how they can proceed here. Because, once they have written notice, or accept verbal or written comment regarding SMARA & facts pointed out here. They cannot deny actual or constructive notice of it. And, cannot proceed without inclusion of SMARA. This is, of course assumming they intend to proceed on sound legal footing. :inocent:

If any public funds are expended, for costs involved in public meetings, or any proceeding, or study, that is not based on sound legal footing, and at any later date, any such meeting, proceeding or study is required by law to be repeated in full conformity with all applicable law. Duplicate spending to cover what should have been done right, the first time, is a total waste. For which someone must be held responsible. I would not want to be that person.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 14 November 2009 )
 
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