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Idaho legislature schedules hearing on suction gold dredging for February 3

January 30, 2014

Idaho legislators will be holding a joint committee hearing on suction gold dredging on February 3, 2014, from 1:30pm to 2:30pm Mountain Standard Time.

The hearing, conducted by the Senate Committee on Resources and Environment and the House Committee on Resources and Conservation, will be held in the Lincoln Auditorium at the Capitol Building in Boise, Idaho.

As many of you know from reading our updates in the Prospecting and Mining Journal, the EPA jumped into the fray by declaring that suction gold dredgers were introducing a pollutant and are required to obtain NPDES permit.

Several speakers have been invited to represent suction gold dredgers, including retired US EPA scientist Joe Greene, Waldo Mining District (Oregon) President Tom Kitchar, Idaho County Sheriff Doug Giddings, and Idaho County Commissioner Jim Chmelik.

Legislators, for the most part, are siding with suction gold dredgers and want to eliminate the NPDES requirement. This hearing is the first step.

Suction gold dredgers are strongly encouraged to attend the hearing to show support.

ICMJ's Prospecting and Mining Journal subscriber Don Smith is willing to answer any questions you might have about the hearing.  He can be reached at (208) 628-2718.

The EPA continues to ignore a recent US Supreme Court ruling regarding the transfer of "pollutants" from one portion of a river to another. You can read more about that case in our Legislative and Regulatory Update column (February 2013 issue, ICMJs Prospecting and Mining Journal).

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