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Environmental Group Appeals Expansion

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Columbia, CA — A local environmental group has appealed a decision that would allow Blue Mountain Minerals to expand.

At a packed public hearing on December 4th, the Tuolumne County Planning Commission voted unanimously to allow the extension, conditional use permit, and the reclamation plan, to restore the land after its use. The expansion includes another 27 acres for mining waste which would mean oak trees in that space will be cut down.

The Central Sierra Environmental Resources Council (CSERC) appeal that was filed last week, argues the plans for restoration of the land are not sufficient and the group wants an Environmental Impact Report to be done. At the hearing, Blue Mountain Minerals executives explained, the company must be able adapt to a changing market place, and the 27 acres provided needed flexibility.

County Community Resources Agency Deputy Director Mike Laird says, “The project now must go to the Board of Supervisors. After the public hearing the Board will decide the matter. If any party is dissatisfied after that then their only appeal is through litigation.”

The Board of Supervisors public hearing is January 7th at 2 pm in the Supervisor’s Chamber.