New Era gets final OK

Dolan again notes she was only supervisor present at the beginning

Despite the fact that neighbors of the New Era Mine had hired a lawyer, the state Office of Mining and Reclamation had sent the county a notice of violation, and a state deputy attorney general was monitoring the proceedings, a three-member majority of the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday (Aug. 5) gave final go-ahead to the mine by approving staff findings on an earlier motion of intent.

Attorney Keith Wagner, of Sacramento, representing the Dry Creek Coalition, told the board the mine needed a revised permit and full environmental review because it was not the same project permitted in 1982. But the operator’s attorney, Blair Will, insisted the original permit was still valid, as the board majority had earlier determined.

Once again, Jane Dolan, the only supervisor in office when the original permit was issued, argued that she and everybody else involved at the time were fully aware that it was meant to be a small, one-man mine, not the huge operation that exists today. “I don’t expect any of you to change your vote,” she said, referring to Supervisors Curt Josiassen, Bill Connelly and Kim Yamaguchi, “but I believe these findings are being made out of whole cloth.” Maureen Kirk joined her in voting against the mine.

No word yet on whether the neighbors intend to sue.