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End Gravel Mining in Russian River on June 10, 2:30 pm

Help to put an end to Gravel Mining in the Russian River!

Help defend one of the biggest victories for the River that our Supervisors are prepared to reverse – the 10-year limit of Open Pit strip mining of our aquifer!

Urge the Supervisors to deny the permit and uphold the 10-year limit to protect our aquifer and farmland!

This project will open the door to continued mining beyond this permit by breaking the ARM plan regulation that all open pit mining would end in 2006, increase greenhouse gas emissions, expose our community and wildlife to toxic levels of Mercury for gravel the market is already well supplied with.

Please write a letter or attend the hearing on June 10th at 2:30pm!

For US post letters use the following address and subject line:
Chairman Kerns and Members of the Board
Sonoma County Board of Supervisors
575 Administration Drive, Suite 100A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
RE: June 10, 2008 – Syar Phase VI Hearing

For E-mail letters please use the following addresses and subject line:
CC: KELLISON@sonoma-county.org
Subject line: June 10, 2008 – Syar Phase VI Hearing


• The 10-year limit was strict mitigation and can’t be undone

• The April 2006 phase-out of open pit mining was a HUGE compromise by conservation community and was mitigation in recognition of the widely recognized environmental degradation to our floodplains, aquifer and permanent loss of valuable farmland. The 1-year limit was mitigation for the cumulative impacts from Open Pit mining and to continue beyond 10 years requires new mitigation and the EIR has no mitigation for the cumulative impact from continued mining.

• Water is more valuable than gravel to our community

• Open Pit mining permanently destroys a portion of the Middle Reach zone of the Santa Rosa aquifer for a year or two of gravel supply compromising future sustainable water sources the county will require as our population grows.

• Continued Open Pit mining exposes our community and wildlife to high levels of Mercury

• Syar’s own data shows their process water slurry to contain toxic levels of Mercury. After Syar was ordered to stop discharging the mercury laden water into former open pit mines, they are now de-watering the solids from the slurry and using it as top-soil to be sold or spread on vineyards over our aquifer. The Mercury is still there as it binds to sediment not water but the Syar FEIR completely avoids analyzing what happened to the Mercury when the process water slurry is dried out. The soil has to be tested for Mercury before the FEIR can claim that no impact exisits and they have failed to do testing.
The FIER fails to identify or address the impact from mining causing the hyper-concentration of existing Mercury in the floodplain deposits to toxic levels and exposing our water, wildlife and human population to the Mercury.

• Sonoma County already has adequate gravel supplies

• There is no public need served as imported gravel is able to supply entire Sonoma market with lower Greenhouse gas emissions and much lower environmental impact to source areas and no sacrifice of farmlands.

• Most gravel use is NOT in north county

• The EIR completely omits the existing Northern Sonoma County gravel sources from bar skimming in claiming a “need” for local high quality aggregate. The truth is that the majority of gravel use is easily served by imported sources in Petaluma.

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