Mono County Supervisors Speak Out Against Gold Exploration Drilling in Long Valley
Mono County submits first comments on Long Valley mining project
The Mono County Supervisory Board took a strong stand against the proposed exploratory drilling project in Long Valley at its meeting on Tuesday.
Kore Mining said the project was seen as a categorical exclusion from state and federal environmental protection legislation. The county disagreed. Noting both the exploratory project and any other mining activity would have an impact on the Two-state sage-grouse leks just three miles from the site as well as the pasture leases.
The Board approved a letter to the director of the Inyo National Forest Mining Program requesting information on the operation and a more in-depth impact assessment.
According to the company’s technical report, the site is “a few miles” east of the US Highway. 395.
Categorical exclusions are defined as “a class of shares…. Which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment and for which neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact study is normally required. “
The letter, described by community development director Wendy Sugimura Mono, cites four major objections: the operation conflicts with Mono County policies, the potential impacts to Hot Creek and Little Hot Creek, the requirement to tribal consultation and exploration could lead to surface mining. surgery.
While the site is in the Inyo National Forest, the Mono County Mining Ordinance requires a permit for mining operations.
Mark Leduc de Kore reminded the Board that the current project would not give the company the right to sue and Kore would “go through the National Environmental Protection Act process before continuing beyond testing. . He explained that the test would impact less than an acre with 14 drilling rigs in an area of 53 feet by 30 feet, that it would not take place during the sage grouse incubation season. and that there would be coordination with pasture tenants.
Mono County’s response was based on preliminary documents from Kore and completed on time. A more comprehensive plan of operations was made available, but Sugimura explained that there was not enough time to meet the original May 6 comment deadline. The additional information could fix some of the issues, she said, but it could also raise additional issues with the project. .
This deadline has just been extended to May 13.