Appeal: Gold Hill Project — Water Pollution Control Permit NEV2010110
Gold Hill Area: View Map Online

Appeal Update: On November 15, 2011 the State Environmental Commission received a letter from Great Basin Resource Watch withdrawing the below referenced appeal. The appeal was withdrawn based on a revised permit containing additional ground water monitoring; the revised permit was issued by NDEP on November 9, 2011.

Background: On September 19, 2011 — the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) issued a Water Pollution Control Permit NEV2010110 to the Round Mountain Gold Corporation (RMGC). This Permit authorizes the construction, operation, and closure of a mining facility in Nye County, Nevada. According to the decision, the agency was provided with sufficient information, in accordance with Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) 445A.350 through NAC 445A.447, to assure the Waters of the State would not be degraded and public safety and health would be protected.

On September 30, 2011 Great Basin Resource Watch (GBRW) of Reno, Nevada appealed the above referenced decision issued by NDEP. GBRW submitted its appeal to the State Environmental Commission (SEC) on form 3 as required by NAC 445B.890. Then on October 7, 2011 RMGC petitioned the SEC for "Leave to Intervene" as allowed under SEC rules (NAC 445B.8915).

In response to the appeal filed by GBRW, on October 14, 2011 council for NDEP file a motion for briefing schedule; the motion requested the SEC to order GBRW to file briefs detailing the issues it wishes to present to the SEC at the appeal hearing. Specifically, the motion requested GBRW to file briefs that contain its specific arguments, with citations to statutory and regulatory provisions and to the record, supporting their allegations specified in the appeal. As of October 17, 2011 all of these documents filed on this appeal are presented below.

About the Appeal: According to GBRW's appeal, the plan for development of the Gold Hill Project will create a pit lake upon session of mining and the pit lake "fulfills the description" in state statues as Waters of the State. GBRW reasons the water in the pit lake "is expected to be substandard."

GBRW also disagrees with the categorical exclusion of mining pits lakes from drinking water standards, which are applied to Waters of the State. GBRW further states in its appeal that the particular pit lake in question "will have the potential to degrade groundwater in conflict with clear regulation." Accordingly, GBRW argues that the project is (1) expected to degrade surface Waters of the State, and (2) has the potential to degrade Groundwaters of the State, and should not proceed as currently proposed.

Appeal Documents

Related Information
  • Round Mountain Gold Expansion Project Final EIS [BLM — Battle Mountain District Office: April 2010]

    From the EIS . . . "In the Gold Hill Area, new mining facilities would be developed including an open pit, two new waste rock dumps, new heap leach facility, Merrill-Crowe precipitation plant, retort and refinery, haul roads and secondary roads, production water wells, rapid infiltration basins, and ancillary facilities. Exploration for additional gold ore reserves also would be conducted within the Gold Hill Area.

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