Tuesday’s air quality control meeting report in brief:
- Senator Justin Jones-for his attendance and support
- County Commissioner Susan Brager-for her attendance and support
- CC Air Quality Control-for hosting a professional, informative meeting and clarifying the issues
- Gypsum Resources-for answering questions and offering commitment to the community above and beyond their requirements
- Citizens and Save Red Rock supporters-for requesting the meeting and airing the issues
- BDCA for the facilites and sound system
- interagency discrepancies
- BLM-for not sending a representative who could comment, clarify, and answer questions
- rocks on the road and dust in the air that is not considered part of the permit because it is not on the permittee’s land, even though it is required to access the land
- safety in the bike lane with regards to rocks and heavy truck traffic that are not considered as part of this permit
- water spillage and waste and road damage and road safety around the water source
At Tuesday’s air quality meeting, the public aired concerns with dust control, road safety (rocks on the road), and water usage with regards to the mining and reclamation operations on Blue Diamond Hill in Red Rock. The biggest problems exposed at the meeting were due to interagency policy conflicts. Many questions/issues of the night needed clarification from the BLM. For example, the dust control permit is for the mine, but not the dirt road that accesses it. It seems counterproductive to issue a dust control permit when the issues on the required dirt road access are not considered. It was suggested at the meeting that the permit be issued contingent upon the resolution of the access road issues, but CC Air Quality said they cannot hold a permittee responsible for something they cannot control. If BLM gives the access road to the mine, they could improve the road but it would also make it more attractive to development (if not by Jim Rhodes who is looking to develop elsewhere, then by a future land owner)…the only alternative more detrimental than water waste. If the BLM doesn’t give the road to the mine, the only approved road conditioner is water. Hopefully the BLM can recognize water as a valuable resource and consider a policy that would allow an alternative without giving away the road.
The mine itself seemed to be adhering to policy, with the exception of a previous violation that was being worked out. The mine has a new manager and all current operations were reportedly in tip top shape, based on observations of respected members of the community and the local emergency response crew (fire department). Gypsum Resources mine manager and project manager both were there to answer questions. They offered their commitment to strict adherence to the policies and to the community as well, saying that they would increase their road sweeping schedule and try to work with BLM on alternatives to water. They also said that they would take care of the road damage issue at the water source in the village of Blue Diamond, and the rock “track out” onto the road.