TEXT_SIZE
Please update your Flash Player to view content.

Gov Brown vetoes mining bill

Delaine Fragnoli
Managing Editor
7/13/2011

Suction dredge miners got a reprieve when Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation that would have de-funded the court-ordered environmental plan needed before the practice could potentially resume.

Budget language passed by both state houses in May would have extended the current moratorium on the practice for five years, or until the Department of Fish and Game could come up with a plan to mitigate all the environmental impacts and a way to pay for program costs, estimated to be at least $2 million a year, a figure mining advocates dispute.

But the budget language also prohibited the department from spending any money to develop such a plan.

Brown said he was vetoing the bill “to ensure the Department is not in violation of the court order.” Brown offered mining advocates no assurances. “Fish and Game can now finish working on the environmental impact report and associated regulations, though the resumption of dredging is not assured.”

“The governor saw through the budget trick that was going to kill off this industry and didn’t stand for it,” said state Sen. Ted Gaines, who has been a supporter of the mining practice.

But even Gaines had to admit the contingent nature of the development. “With the funding now in place, DFG can complete the required study and potentially implement new regulations that will end the moratorium.”

A bill currently making its way through the Assembly could throw a wrench into the dredge. It would add new requirements to the California Environmental Quality Act and could potentially impose a five-year ban on suction dredging.

Gaines, whose district includes Plumas County, called the proposed new requirements “unattainable” and vowed to “see this through to the end.”

The current moratorium stems from a lawsuit, spearheaded by the Karuk tribe, which argued that the practice was harming fish habitat by churning up pollutants, such as mercury, deposited in streambeds by a century and a half of mining activity.

The moratorium went into effect in 2009, when the Legislature passed a bill temporarily banning suction dredge mining on all California lakes and rivers until the court-ordered environmental review could be completed.

Move
-

Sports Headlines

Top Headline

FRC rodeo to open arena for anyone brave enough

FRC rodeo to open arena for anyone brave enough

This cowboy holds on for dear life during last year’s saddle bronc riding portion of the rodeo clinic at Feather River College. For the third year, FRC’s rodeo...

Read More...

New class plans paddle fest

New class plans paddle fest

Quincy locals try out some human-powered boats at last year’s Plumas Paddle Fest, presented by the Outdoor Recreation Leadership program of Feather River College....

Read More...

Fishing Report for the week of 4/18/2014

Fishing Report for the week of 4/18/2014

Robert Paulson, of Meadow Valley, holds up the 23-pound Mackinaw he caught at Bucks Lake on April 6. Photo submitted Michael Condon Staff Writer 4/18/2014Read More...

Contact Us
up_contact
Facebook Image

BarberBtn

Local Events

National Headlines

Auto Parts
CanyonMotorsButton
Moving and Storage
LassenNews.com
Yellow Page Directory
Yellow Pages
Advertise with us
Dining Guide
PlumasDiningCoverWeb
Visitors Guide
"); pageTracker._trackPageview(); } catch(err) {}