Ione Gravel Mine Seeks Permission to Operate for More Than a Century

Ione Gravel Mine Seeks Permission to Operate for More Than a Century

Postponing Restoration while Impacting Ione Residents’ Quality of Life

The proposed expansion of the Specialty Granules (SGI) open-pit mine on Highway 104 poses a threat to the health and safety of Ione-area residents, as well as water needed for nearby farms and ranches. Some Ione residences are within about 1,000’ of this gravel quarry and have been impacted by it for decades. It is upwind of the city of Ione, and only about two miles from the Castle Oaks subdivision, Mule Creek State Prison, and the iconic Preston Castle.

The proposed expansion of the Specialty Granules (SGI) open-pit mine on Highway 104 poses a threat to the health and safety of Ione-area residents, as well as water needed for nearby farms and ranches. Some Ione residences are within about 1,000’ of this gravel quarry and have been impacted by it for decades. It is upwind of the city of Ione, and only about two miles from the Castle Oaks subdivision, Mule Creek State Prison, and the iconic Preston Castle.

 

 

PUBLIC SCOPING MEETING

7 pm, Thursday, October 5, 2021

810 Court Street, Jackson

(or attend via Zoom, details p. 2)

 

Please submit your comments to Amador County by October 5!

The existing mine produces large amounts of hazardous dust and generates heavy truck traffic through Ione. It uses precious groundwater from a groundwater basin that is known to be overdrafted already. The mine’s owners are asking the county to allow them to triple the size of the mine. They also want a 125 – year operating permit, with no periodic environmental or public health review. Under state law, the site would not begin to be restored for over a century. And they want no further limits on their hours of operation (now day and/or night), or operating methods.  

We do not want to shut the quarry down. We realize it provides jobs and needed building materials. We do, however, want to see reasonable environmental and public health monitoring and mitigation measures so that homeowners, ranchers, businesses, families, and SGI can co-exist. (Examples would be limits on hours of operation, groundwater usage, and truck traffic on Highway 104 and through Ione; dust mitigation; periodic air quality, noise, and dust monitoring; and periodic permit review).

The peaceful enjoyment of your home — as well as your property values—are affected by this project:

  • Health Hazards
  • Blasting Noise
  • Light and Glare
  • Air Quality
  • Toxic Dust
  • Heavy Truck Traffic

What You Can Do

Your comments are needed now. Your comments will help shape the county’s environmental review of the mine expansion. The county needs to know which issues matter most to you — whether that is noise, aesthetics, air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, truck traffic, lighting, cultural resource protection, operating hours, groundwater use, or cumulative impacts of this project in combination with the approved Newman Ridge Mine project and other industrial projects envisioned along Highway 104 between Ione and the Sacramento County line that will contribute even more hard rock blasting and heavy truck traffic.

How to submit comments:

  • The county is accepting public comments by mail (810 Court Street, Jackson CA 95642)or via email before 7 pm on October 5, 2021. You can email your comments to the county at: planning@amadorgov.org; and/or

You can attend the October 5 Planning Commission meeting at 7 pm, in person or via ZOOM. Please participate if you can! The in-person meeting will be held at the Amador County Administration Building, 810 Court Street, Jackson. You can attend via ZOOM at this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/5375128983 or by calling one of the numbers below and entering Meeting ID: 537 512 8983:

+1 669 900 6833 US     +1 346 248 7799 US     +1 301 715 8592 US

+1 312 626 6799 US     +1 929 205 6099 US      +1 253 215 8782 US

Thank you for your interest and support in taking action on this important issue!

For more information, see https://www.amadorgov.org/departments/planning/current-projects  or call the Amador County Planning Department at 209-223-6380. If you would like to receive updates about this project, please contact Friends of Greater Ione at infofogi2021@gmail.com and ask to be added to our mailing list.

A typical gravel crushing operation
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Larry Patterson, Director, Camanche Village, CA:  MS Civil/Transportation Engineering UC Berkeley, BS Civil Engineering University of Texas, private consultant, former City Manager of San Mateo, recipient of the League’s James L. Martin Award in 2012