August 9, 2022 

Water and Arsenic: which came first?


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 By Michael Miller

05/17/2002  2:50PM

This letter could be included in a number of categories on the forum. Later it will join the yet-to-be-developed corporate correspondence archive.

December 2, 1998

Senator Tim Leslie
1200 Melody Land, Suite 110
Roseville, CA 95678

Dear Mr. Leslie:

Sadly, I report to you that California’s administration of the Porter Cologne Act is ineffective, out of control and not serving the interests of California. The State Water Board, and its advisor, Mr. Walt Pettit, Executive Director, and Mr. William R. Attwater, Chief Council, and the California Regional Water Quality Control Board Central Valley Region (CRWQCBCVR), its staff and its administrator, Mr. Carlton, are acting like a coalition of autocrats. This behavior is associated with the Kremlin style of government, third world dictatorships, or even worse the Gestapo. These present California regulators lost the concept of due process in their quest for administrative control.

During the past twenty-five years my career has focused in the noble occupation of traditional underground gold mining in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. An awareness and understanding of the mining industry does not come easily. Through my work I have been in practical contact with numerous governmental agencies. From Agricola who was solicitous for the reputation and recognition for the importance of the mineral industry, to the former governor Jerry Brown, who recognized the value of mineral resources and endorsed categorizing and preserving California’s mineral lands, responsible leaders and soothsayers know that mining is a calling of peculiar dignity and benefit to the general public. Individuals appointed to State and Regional Boards must work harder to understand the gold mining industry and go beyond clichés and simplistic characterizations. Andre Agessi was wrong in his popular TV commentaries. Perception is not everything. The essence of facts are more important than perception as we work towards managing the lives of Californians and the bountiful water we share in our state.

Our water quality regulators have misplaced their legislative mandate for intellectual integrity while administering the law. The rules are spelled out in our Porter Cologne Act. They are also violating the disciplines of scientific inquiry for gathering data and the principles behind the State and Federal constitution. I am asking you to aggressively become involved in ending an odious arrogance of publicly paid people who have lost their intellectual integrity.

My company continues to be victimized by employees of the state. Thirty-nine hard working employees and their dependents face unemployment due to poor research by the department of Fish and Game and the staff of CRWQCBCVR. Our plight down the road is easy to follow. Poorly researched data was provided to and gathered by the CRWQCBCVR staff, who disregarded the rules of evidence. One of the greatest perpetrators of illegality was the attorney advising the CRWQCBCVR. Ill informed regional board appointees slept through a Red China type judicial hearing where witnesses were not allowed to present evidence. State Water Board appointees to the CRWQCBCVR dutifully approved lower decisions without inquiry. A smattering of public attorneys forgot about constitutional rights and legal procedures to dutifully protect the fraternity of government employees (whose beliefs were erroneous at the outset). We pay via taxes for all of this abuse as well as pay to defend ourselves.

You and your fellow elected officials have the only power to protect Californians from the abuse of career public employees. You do this by holding those at the pinnacle of power responsible for their actions. Jim Maughn and Adrian Griffin of water quality failed to follow the Porter Cologne Act; Dennis Messa of the department of Fish and Game prepared a report of opinions not an investigation of facts; Ed Carlton failed to administer his staff and failed to discharge his duties; the politically appointed regional board failed to conduct a proper public hearing; the State Water Board failed to seriously review the quality of its underlings; State lawyers failed to exercise their professional code of behavior in conducting a hearing.

Ours is the last and only producing underground deep vein gold mine in California. We are very fragile. We need objectivity, not ill informed clones pandering the party line from those we elect or pay to regulate us. This is what the CRWQCB and the State Board is demonstrating.

Time is of the essence. Please get involved. All of the above mentioned people have forced us into another hearing in January. If our request for a proper hearing by the State and/or Regional Board is denied, we will appeal the decision. If we lose the appeal, we will file a lawsuit against the department of Fish and Game and CRWQCB and name those individuals culpable. Spending money with lawyers does not improve the water quality. I seek an interview with the Chairman of the State Board, the Regional Board and Mr. Pettit or any of the board members. My many attempts for a meeting, which I can document, have failed. There are excuses why they cannot meet with me, but the excuses are weak. They are hiding behind a bureaucratic self-proclaimed shield.

I am available to discuss this further with you or your staff. I am available to meet with any of the water regulators upon short notice. My phone number is (530) 287-3223.

Enclosed is my most recent letter to the shareholders of Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. for your reading pleasure.

Sincerely yours,

Michael Miller
 By Rick

05/08/2002  10:19PM


Your clarification below brought welcome relief to my previous misunderstanding, as my initial interpretation to your topic titled "ADMINISTRATIVE 'LAW' " left me with the impression that such 'LAW' should be heeded, rather than challenged. How wrong I can be sometimes....

Your perspective is right on the mark. Let's not exclude the total picture while we're at it: not only is the Original Sixteen to One under assault, the full scope of our Freedom is slowly succumbing to the forces of the ignorance that manifests through the guise of 'public good' so well exemplified by the MSHA debacle.

Truth: Law is not established by appointment, while 'Administrative Law' by appointment should be opposed at all cost. Thanks Lynwood for the explanation so well said.
 By Rick

03/28/2002  9:53PM

All of the above. In that order.

The reason The 16-to-1 has the proverbial target pasted to its back has virtually nothing to do with arsenic (refence the article re: Water Board Decision) but instead to its vulnerability as a political football, its unfortunate subjugation to unchecked politically appointed czarism and a reluctance for the general public to step forth and bridge the challenge of apathetic banality when Constitution issues arise. Generally, apathy wins and ignorance flourishes.

In this case, you are right to again point out that arsenic abounds along the divide, that floods (as historically, non-existent data excludes rational and embraces conjecture instead, the power of persuasion shifting to the pea-brain mentality of the knee-jerk idiot) occur for the same Godly explanation that makes rocks-in-river-courses round. (PS, don't go movin' no rocks around when the river ain't flowing just as they think it should . . .might just inflict a little all-too-ready-to investigate damage to the round edges of round rocks; I remember boulders the size of Nevada County's longest school-busses crashing into the bridge on the Middle Fork.)

Nut-shell: The mine is a target for publicity and sickly-derived political gain, despite the quantitative validity of whatever any dreamed-up unsubstantiated claims can evoke. Unfortunately, this slams critical thinkers like a ton of muck-in-the-head . . . which is the motive nature of scare-tactic environmentalistic farce.

Unfortunately, the threat exists in a cloak that few have the guts (as you honorably do have Gonzo, and please spread your concerns for us all) stomached enough to respond in a public forum.

This reminiscently reminds me of the maverick idiot who battled not only society but all the knowledge to eventually yield to flight: "You're dreaming if you think that will fly." Yet as fortune had it, scepticism defeated, today we summarily dismiss with a toss-of-the-hand the same obstacles that beforehand kept mankind's feet glued to the ground. No politics then, simply skepticism yeilding to truth.

Today's skepticism maskerades as 'The Most Pressing Global Concern That You're An Idiot To Ignore: Our Earth,' yet as truth proves, when the proverbial stone is overturned (make sure no one's looking) we humans may be in charge of discretionary pollution, but damned if we can't, and shouldn't, play God.

Which any political bureaucrat invloved in this debacle won't admit they're doing . . .
 By Rick

03/04/2002  3:21PM

Evidence of the California Regional Water Quality Control Board's true objectives was on display at the hearing, as Jason has pointed out. Perhaps we've stumbled onto the real reason "Control" is hidden in their name . . .

Imagine the reaction to these next three words (in fact, try it on some of your friends) and you will discover the agenda: "Mine, Discharge, Arsenic."

Without a shred of facts, the political implication stands naked for all to see . . .it sounds as if some fly-by-night, out-of-control, gross-poluting, earth-ruining criminal is trying to kill children and feed old ladies catfood.

I've given these words to some friends a few times since the hearing, asking for what course of action they initially felt by the words, and what do you know, every person has said "Shut them down if they're using arsenic and contaminating the drinking water."

Yet when I went on to explain how they've been intentionally misled, providing the fact that no arsenic is used, that aresenic occurs naturally all the way to the Yuba River confluence, that the arsenic in Kanaka Creek is below 10ppb at the spot where it exits the mine's property (13ppb above stream while standard is 50ppb), that the Board defined "drinking water" as any surface water in the State, that the Board admits that even if the mine weren't operating the arsenic level in the creek wouldn't change, that indeed the data was misplaced somehow, that operations without a milling process most likely would bring new light to the Water Board's staff's recomendations . . . .

. . . then those three words didn't seem so dirty. Jason's testimony pointed out a crucial fact that was blatantly ignored: Kanaka Creek has 303d status, already designating it by the Water Board to be non-drinking water (again, the ambient level of arsenic--that level already upstream of the mine--is above their standards already!). It just didn't matter. The facts didn't matter.

So the only possible conclusion is as follows: the political clout non-critical thinkers bestow on the Gray Davis Administration through their false allegations, allows his Water Board to say "We're going after a gross-poluting mine that discharges arsenic and have succeeded."

You'd think the objective would be to regulate arsenic levels in the drinking water, not feel-good-politics. Yes, you read correctly: they don't care about the level of arsenic, because it's within their own standard. It's all a bunch of . . .
 By auriferous

03/01/2002  5:36PM

I think today's decisions were an affront to not only scientific principles but logical thought as well. The board decided to increase the amount of water sampling and reporting required when they cannot even maintain complete records of the data that the mine did submit over the past 13 years.

One good thing about the meeting was that it seemed to me that the board listened a bit more to our side, in stark contrast to the demeanor of the board back in 1997-1998.

Let's look forward to a fourm in which the mine can finally receive a fair hearing and where hopefully logic and common sense will be afforded more weight.

Jason Burke
 By Rick

12/30/2001  5:48PM

Try this one on for perspective:

Recent discoveries by the EPA revealed arsenic levels in Sacramento's Curtis Rail Yard somewhere between 25,000 and 46,000 PPB, yet where do we read of the quantitative distinction in Sacramento's major newspaper? Yes...last time I drove north on I5, the evidence of 'clean-up' shouts at you as you look east...and the site lies along the Sacramento River. The same River fed by Kanaka Creek. The same water ostensibly rendered 'poisonous' by leaky levels of arsenic delivered into the system by eons of natural erosion, 150 years ignored by the politically motivated environmental movement.

Let's examine the relative publicity surrounding both the Curtis Rail Yard and the miniscule 'green' (as much as I abhore the term, but for the sake of clarification I use it for relative perspective to those who understand only rhetoric), yes 'green' mining techniques employed by the Sixteen to One:

Thousands of miles of track have been lain with ballast support utilizing arsenic-laden waste from copper-smelting, a common form of refinement throughout the world...tracks lining rights-of-way that often follow river courses, the most direct routes of commerce, the sources of vast tax revenues confiscated by governments throughout the country. 25,000 PPM vs. possible naturally occuring arsenic levels of 25 to 500 PPM in Kanaka Creek.

Which of these 'atrocities' has received the distinction from the press?

Right...The small, insignificant one with the most accessible political potential...
 By goldengirl

12/07/2001  1:21PM

Well stated Rick!
 By Rick

12/06/2001  10:46AM

Private property rights, of course, do not include the right to pollute another's property, yet let's examine the issue recently brought to light by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board.

There are a number of things on the table, all in concert with each other. The formost: a non-elected board, appointed (politically motivated, of course) has redefined the definition of drinking water, redefined 'primary use' of water in Alleghany, redefined jurisdiction and redefined chemistry.

Arsenic is a natural element. Arsenopyrite is a naturally occurring ore: FeS2FeAs2 It happens to be associated with quartz deposites, specifically arsenopyrite, found in hard rock gold mines in California. The Sixteen to One has been told (through unchallenged regulation) to 'clean-up' arsenic dumping in Kanaka Creek, based on sampling of effluent discharge from 1999 when an entirely different set of circumstances existed: the mill was grinding up quartz with minute quantities of naturally occurring arsenopyrite (no longer running), samples taken ignored any dillution factor once added to the creek's naturally flowing volume, ignored the subsequent downsteam water volume from tributaries, ignored the fact that no one uses Kanaka Creek water for drinking water, ignored the fact that for 150 years mines along Kanaka Creek encountered arsenopyrite, and ignored the fact that the primary use of the water isn't defined as drinking water, anywhere from Alleghany to the Pacific Ocean.

I challenge anyone in the California Regional Water Quality Control Board to dip their mug into the Sacramento River and take a long drink. They won't, because arsenic exists from manufactured agricultural far greater quantity than a trickle of naturally occurring water coming out of a two inch pipe from an operation that isn't even operating!! Go figure.

What's at stake here isn't the health of those cited by the Water Board. Instead, what's at stake is our sovereignty to retain jusrisdiction of regional water rights that predate the existence of today's fear tactics, employed by the politically motivated environmental movement playing God.

Guess what? Water and arsenic were here billions of years before someone invented the California Regional Water Quality Control Board.

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