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Sign the Petition: PRESS PAUSE on the Teichert Shifler Mining and Reclamation Project

This is a summary of our longer Petition that can be found and signed at https://chng.it/fJWfym9Gx6

We are Yolo residents concerned about the potential adverse impacts of the Teichert Shifler Mining and Reclamation Project. On Tuesday, 11 January at 1:00 pm the Yolo Board of Supervisors will discuss and vote on the application. We urge the Supervisors to vote NO.

Here we emphasize Risk of Water Contamination, Loss of Prime Farmland, and Liability.

1) WATER 

The Shifler property, just west of Woodland along lower Cache Creek, is contaminated with mercury from the Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine that historically released 220,000 pounds of mercury into the Clear Lake ecosystem. Consequently, Cache Creek is the largest contributing source of mercury to the San Francisco Bay Delta.

 Aggregate mining can disturb long-dormant streambed sediments and re-release mercury back into the water. Insufficient attention has been paid to the status of mercury in the side channels. Chemical and biological transformation of mercury generates methylmercury that is highly toxic, bio-concentrates in fish and affects human health.  

Moreover, insufficient attention has been paid to the enormous amount of water required for mining. Groundwater pumping rate cannot exceed 3,500 gallons/minute (gpm); annual use cannot exceed 1,910 acre-feet/year. You would meet that maximum if you pumped 1,184 gpm for 24 hours/day, 365 days/year. How does this enormous use of water compare with the amount needed to irrigate crops?  

Additionally, insufficient attention has been paid to the mining residue Teichert intends to return to the pit, since this is where chemical reactions are likely to happen, leading to possible future liability issues. Experts in geochemistry and groundwater modeling must be engaged to ensure  problems do not arise; should groundwater become contaminated, it is extremely difficult to clean up. 

2) PRIME FARMLAND 

The Shifler property is zoned for agriculture, not mining. We depend on the earth's topsoil for 95% of our food; yet, it is being rapidly degraded at a rate where the world can run out of topsoil in about 60 years, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. 

Compaction from heavy machinery, scraping away and storing topsoil – as proposed by Teichert – ruins it: decreases  porosity, ability to hold water; disturbs organisms and affects physical and chemical properties; reduces organic carbon content essential for water retention, controlling soil erosion, leaching, nutrient cycling and improved soil structure.Healing the soil is costly, slow, and labor intensive. Choosing to preserve Class 1 farmland would be the wiser, climate-friendly alternative.

3) LIABILITY 

There are many potential sources of liability for the County, including: 

  • degraded air quality in the region (dust, particulates [e.g., PM-2.5 and greater], noxious toxic air pollutants);
  • increased greenhouse gases at a time of climate emergency;
  • noise pollution in and around the project area for an estimated thirty years, six to seven days a week;
  • loss of scarce habitat for native flora and fauna in the adjacent Nature Preserve;
  • adverse aesthetic impacts in the region;
  • loss of Indigenous cultural resources;
  • loss of educational opportunities for County schoolchildren and others at the Nature Preserve;
  • destruction of scarce remaining Class I agricultural soil on and around the project site; 
  • significant increase in massive heavy-duty diesel-truck traffic — potentially millions of additional truck trips over the 30-year life of the project — all day long, summer to 10 pm, peak periods 24 hours, inevitably degrading air quality, public safety, public health, ambient noise levels, and aesthetic values in the surrounding community;
  • prolonged delay in reclamation;
  • inadequate maintenance and remediation accounts;
  • risk of contaminated pits or soil dedicated by Teichert to the County.

In sum, we urge Yolo residents to sign the petition at https://chng.it/fJWfym9Gx6 

We ask Supervisors to PRESS PAUSE. There are TOO MANY QUESTIONS to be answered before we commit to a 30-year project. 

Yours sincerely,

Carolyn Chamberlain
Alan Pryor
Sharon Schwarz
Ann Liu
Jim Burau

And 907 others (as of 6 January)

Comments

Jan Newman

This project is moving too quickly. We must examine all potential consequences before moving forward. Is the risk of harm to drinking water, agricultural land and air quality worth it? Is this the legacy we want to burden our children with—forever? Please press pause.

Ann and Mike Savageau

We oppose the Teichert gravel pit. Help us save our farmland
and not pollute our environment.

Ann Privateer

I oppose the Teichert gravel pit project. Save our planet, farmland, air and water quality.

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