SEC Appeal Hearing (Contested Case - NAC 445B.875)
Silver Peak Lithium Project
Water Pollution Control Permit NEV0070005
A three-member panel of the State Environmental Commission (SEC) held an appeal hearing on the above referenced permit. The hearing was held on September 25, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. in Carson City, Nevada at the Bryan Building, 901 S. Stewart St., 2nd floor Tahoe Conference Room. The hearing date was selected after consultation with the parties. The appeal has been dismissed.
About the Project — On June 7, 2012, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) issued a renewal of Water Pollution Control Permit NEV0070005 to the Chemetall Foote Corporation; the company is now known as Rockwood Lithium Inc. This permit authorizes the construction, operation, and closure of an approved chemical process facility at the Silver Peak Lithium Project site in Silver Peak, Esmeralda County, Nevada. The Permit became effective June 22, 2012.
The project consists of a solution mining and chemical process facility, designed to extract lithium from brines beneath the Clayton Valley playa, with a maximum permitted production rate of 6,000 tons of lithium carbonate per year. The facility is comprised of numerous deep wells, solar evaporation ponds, lime sludge pond, process plants, stockpiled salt dumps, and appurtenances such as the lime slaker. Facilities are required to be designed, constructed, operated, and closed without any discharge of fluids, or release in excess of those standards established in state regulation except for meteorological events which exceed the design storm event.
About the Appeal — On August 18, 2012, after initially filing an appeal on an expired SEC Form 3, the Silver Peak Ad Hoc Advisory Committee (SPAHAC) filed a proper appeal with SEC; the appeal was signed by Mr. Paul Rupp.
In general, SPAHAC argues that the Permit does not protect the health and safety of the public or the environment and it violates SPAHC constitutional or statutory rights. In the appeal, SPAHAC refers to its inalienable rights and cites to its rights in acquiring, possessing and protecting property and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness. SPAHAC further states in their appeal that the permit is void on its face because it grants authority allowing the tainting of water and lands that residents drink, cook and bathe in, and land that residents live and grow food on, and children play on. Lastly SPAHAC alleges that NDEP failed to provide timely information as requested by SPAHAC with respect to water and soil test results at the above referenced facility.