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Appeal for Action on Syar Mining Hearing–July 8th at 2:10 pm

Rescheduled Syar Phase VI Pit Mining hearing July 8th – 2:10pm**

Please 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 Vote NO on the permit and uphold the 10-year limit
to protect our aquifer and farmland!
This project, if approved, will open the door to continued mining beyond
this permit by breaking the ARM plan regulation that all open pit mining
will 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 July 8th at 2:10pm!

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: July 8, 2008 – Syar Phase VI Hearing

For E-mail letters please use the following addresses and subject line:

mkerns@sonoma-county.org
vbrown@sonoma-county.org
tsmith@sonoma-county.org
pkelley@sonoma-county.org
mreilly@sonoma-county.org
CC: KELLISON@sonoma-county.org
CSEPPELE@sonoma-county.org

Subject line: July 8, 2008 – Syar Phase VI Hearing PLP05-0108

POINTS TO MAKE TO SONOMA CO SUPERVISORS

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.

Syar’s Air Quality Study is Flawed and will lead to unacceptable cancer
risks from Equipment emissions
A June 2008 study by Atmospheric Dynamics shows that Syar’s reports
understated the cancer risks by not accounting for particulate emissions
by using outdated information on particulates, properly age equipment by
assuming all equipment was brand new with modern emission controls and by
not accounting for higher emissions from off-road equipment. The
independent report shows that the real cancer risk is 2-3 times higher
than Syar’s reports and push the risk above legal thresholds.

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. Syar and other mining operations have dumped this toxic stew
into the former mining pits contaminating them with mercury. The Syar
processing plant located next to the River and the Phase VI pit will end
up with toxic levels of mercury if Phase VI is allowed to proceed. Syar’s
testing data from groundwater monitoring wells and former pits has a
detection limit 20 times the significant threshold levels set by the
USEPA, the Clean Water Act and Proposition 65.
Due to the failure to test for Mercury at levels required by the USEPA,
the FEIR should NOT be approved until Mercury testing is performed at
levels consistent with the law.

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. This is demonstrated via a 2003 Whitlock
& Weinberger Transportation traffic study.

Thank You for opposing the Syar permit and protecting our River and
groundwaters!

**- Since the June 10th hearing was a last minute cancellation and many
showed up so if you want to confirm the hearing before you drive over you
can call our office at 433-1958 or the Clerk of the Board at 565-2241 to
confirm the hearing time after 10am on July 8th! We do not believe this
hearing will be postponed but check-in to be sure!

—————————
Don McEnhill
Russian Riverkeeper
PO Box 1335
Healdsburg, CA 95448
ph: 707-433-1958
fx: 707-433-1989
cel: 707-217-4762
www.russianriverkeeper.org

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