STATE WATER RESOURCES CONTROL BOARD
RESOLUTION NO. 97-
APPROVAL OF THE REMEDIATION PLAN UNDER WATER CODE SECTION 13397 ET SEQ., FOR THE PENN MINE SITE LONG-TERM SOLUTION PROJECT
1. The California Legislature has found that waste, including acid rock drainage (ARD) from abandoned mines has a devastating effect on aquatic life and has degraded some major water bodies in the State; and
2. The California Legislature has also found formation of ARD can continue for centuries after the abandonment of a mine and is difficult to control. The complete elimination of ARD is not possible at this time; and
3. The California Legislature has also found that unless action is taken either by public agencies or private parties who are not responsible for creating mine waste, abandoned mines will continue to discharge waste indefinitely. The cleanup of this waste for the protection of the public and the waterways of the State should be facilitated by limiting the financial responsibility for that cleanup; and
4. The California Legislature has established a program in Water Code Section 13397 et seq., that permits public agencies and cooperating private parties to reduce the threat to water quality caused by abandoned mined lands without becoming responsible for completely remediating abandoned mine waste to a point that meets water quality objectives and related regulatory requirements; and
5. On May 16, 1997, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (CVRWQCB) and East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) jointly submitted to the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) a remediation plan for the Penn Mine Site Long-Term Solution Project (Project) and asked the SWRCB to approve it under Water Code Section 13397 et seq.(Remediation Plan); and
6. The SWRCB has provided an opportunity for public review and comment regarding the Remediation Plan through written and oral comments presented to the SWRCB at its regularly scheduled Workshop Session on June 4, 1997. The SWRCB also received public comments at its regularly scheduled Board Meeting on June 19, 1997; and
7. The SWRCB has considered the Remediation Plan, public comments, and the record in this proceeding, which includes all SWRCB files regarding Penn Mine; and
8. The SWRCB has complied with the California Environmental Quality Act by considering the Final Environmental Impact Report (Final EIR) jointly prepared by the co-lead agencies, CVRWQCB and EBMUD, and adopting the required findings and Mitigation Monitoring Plan in SWRCB Resolution 97- . The terms of that resolution are incorporated herein by reference.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT:
The SWRCB finds that:
1. EBMUD and CVRWQCB are "remediating agencies" as that term is defined in Water Code Section 13397.5 (all references are to the Water Code unless otherwise noted) because they are public agencies who have submitted a Remediation Plan to the SWRCB.
2. Penn Mine is "abandoned mined land" as defined in Section 13397.5 because Penn Mine is an area where surface mining has been conducted, mining there has ceased for over one year, there is no interim management plan for the mine nor are there any financial assurances, and the mined lands at Penn Mine have been adversely affected by past mineral mining.
3. The Remediation Plan submitted by EBMUD and CVRWQCB contains all the elements required by Water Code Section 13398.3.
4. The terms of the Settlement Agreement entered into among the CVRWQCB, EBMUD, the Committee to Save the Mokelumne, and California Sportfishing Protection Alliance have been incorporated into the Remediation Plan in compliance with Water Code Section 13398.9.
5. There is substantial evidence in the record that when implemented, the Remediation Plan will substantially improve water quality by:
a. Essentially eliminating the generation of ARD from the Penn Mine site by removing approximately 300,000 to 332,000 cubic yards of acid generating waste and disposing of it in a landfill that complies with Title 23, California Code of Regulations, Chapter 15, Article 7, and by plugging Mine Shaft No. 4 in the Hinkley Creek drainage; and
b. Removing surface impoundments and acid waste from Hinkley Run and Mine Run Creeks and restoring their flow through natural channels greatly improving water quality in the Creeks; and
c. Any increased metal loading in Camanche Reservoir and the Mokelumne River is likely to be temporary and will probably be mitigated to an insignificant level during Project implementation through mitigation measures that the SWRCB has required to be included in the Remediation Plan. If it cannot be mitigated to insignificance, there will be very little absolute difference in metal loadings between the Remediation Plan and the current operation of the In-Line System treatment plant (ILS). After implementation of the Remediation Plan long-term water quality in the Creeks, Camanche Reservoir and the Mokelumne River will be substantially better than the conditions before Mine Run Dam Reservoir was installed.
6. The Project does not involve surface mining as defined in Public Resources Code Section 2735 because the Remediation Plan does not involve any mineral mining activity and will not result in the production of mining waste.
7. After considering the public comments submitted to the SWRCB at its Workshop Session on June 4, 1997 and its Board Meeting on June 19, 1997, the Final EIR, the Remediation Plan, and all evidence in the record, approves the Remediation Plan subject to the modifications required in SWRCB Resolution 97- to mitigate and monitor mitigation of significant environmental effects.
The undersigned, Administrative Assistant to the Board, does hereby certify that the foregoing is a full, true, and correct copy of a resolution duly and regularly adopted at a meeting of the State Water Resources Control Board held on June 19, 1997.
Administrative Assistant to the Board