Calaveras County signs on to TSF’s Mining Toxins Initiative

The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors expressed keen interest in partnering with The Sierra Fund to protect public health from legacy mining toxins when TSF presented to them on October 28, 2008. 

“The fairly conservative Board was very willing to take a closer look at the impacts of the County’s historic mining practices, and especially enthusiastic that there is money and expertise available to assist them,” commented TSF mining project community organizer Mike Thornton. 

TSF staff Mike Thornton and Izzy Martin, CEO, along with Mining Initiative consultants attorney Bob Joehnck, and science advisor Carrie Monohan, Ph.D. presented information to the Board of Supervisors on the public health, liability and environmental issues related to historic mining in Calaveras County.  Jim Tjosvold of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) also presented information on acid mine drainage and other issues at the Copperopolis site in Calaveras County. 

In addition to laying out the problems, TSF and DTSC were able to offer the Board opportunities to address their issues, including State and Federal grants and loans to assess and clean up contaminated sites, and assistance in refining their General Plan to be more consistent in dealing with legacy mine lands. 

As the Calaveras Enterprise newspaper reported, “Supervisors appeared to be very interested in pursuing the efforts… Environmental Health Director Brian Moss was given the green light to look into making applications for next year’s funding cycle.” 

The Calaveras Enterprise also included a 19-minute clip of the presentation online at: http://www.calaverasenterprise.com/articles/2008/11/04/news/news02.txt

TSF is looking forward to developing our relationship with the county so we can bring the expertise of our partners to help address their particular issues, and also so that we can use their efforts to inform other Gold Country counties facing similar challenges. 

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