February 27, 2021 

Water and Arsenic: which came first?


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 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 pesticides...in 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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