Send a Letter
Comments due by April 30th, 2009
Copy and paste this and send to:
Mailing Address: David Fanning
Bureau of Land Management
Las Vegas Field Office
4701 N. Torrey Pines Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89130
Dear Mr. Fanning,
Please accept the following comments for Environmental Assessment
DOI-BLM-NV-S030-2007-0295-EA, CR Reward Corporation, Reward Project
The Environmental Assessment does not adequately address the impacts a project of this size will cause. Because it leaves so many questions unanswered, a full Environmental Impact Statement needs to be prepared at the expense of CR Reward Corporation. Furthermore, the 30 day comment period leaves little time for the public to respond. The following issues need to be examined in more detail:
Mercury Pollution: If the ore contains mercury, dust from crushed ore can produce particulate dust emissions that can pollute local water sources. The EA admits there will be 64 tons of particulate emissions per year, yet mentions nothing about mercury.
Cyanide: The EA fails to address the long term pollution potential of cyanide. There is no cyanide destruction method. Cyanide will be buried with the liners, yet as these liners degrade over the years, floods and erosion will increase the potential of cyanide entering the Amargosa River system. There are no full proof protections against cyanide leaks or spills.
Transportation of Crushed Ore: Ore will be transported in a "pregnant cyanide solution" to the Briggs Mine in Panamint Valley. What route will be used to transport the ore? Will it be on the state route through Death Valley National Park or another route? Have local communities been consulted about shipping hazardous materials through their towns?
Water: The lower section of the Amargosa River was just designated Wild and Scenic by congress with legislation that will examine the effects of projects that could have upriver. Given the water withdrawal of over 300 acre feet per year and the potential for toxic sediments from potential flash floods, this should be included in the EA. The EA does not analyze the cumulative impacts of this project combined with the many alternative energy and development proposals in the Amargosa Valley that have the potential to deplete the Amargosa River..
Biological Resources: A better biological survey is needed . The EA has incorrectly stated that species such as Teddybear cholla and the Mojave fringe-toed lizard were found in the project area. These are just two of the mistakes. The many flaws in the EA make the entire integrity of the biological survey questionable.
Bighorn sheep: Bare Mountain supports a healthy bighorn sheep population. There is no mention in the EA of the potential effects that the noise and vibrations from blasting would have on sheep during rutting season, lambing season and the hottest times of year. The EA should examine these impacts in more detail.
Nesting Birds: The EA makes no mention of the potential effects blasting would have on nesting birds in locations adjacent to the mine.
Cultural Resources: The EA does not mention the potential effects blasting vibrations would have on the nearby structures of the Carrara Ruins. These buildings are close to 100 years old. This site is a popular tourist attraction. Will vibrations from blasting harm these structures and if so, how would they be stabilized?
Visual Resources: This project will forever scar the view. The destruction of this landscape will inhibit the tourism potential this area can have on the local economy. The EA should better address the permanent impacts this will have on visual resources and how this could impact the local economy. Bare Mountain has also been considered for Wilderness in the past due to its scenic quality. This should be also be recognized in the EA.
(Your name and address)
^Test drilling and roads at the site of the potential Reward Mine main pit.
^Broad-flowered gilia (Gilia latifolia) at the site.
^Paintbrush (Castileja chromosa).