Public comment on Lucerne plan extended |

Public comment on Lucerne plan extended

Nevada Appeal Staff Report

A public-comment period at the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection on a Comstock Mining request to widen water-pollution permit authority remains open through Thursday.

The work at the Virginia City mining firm’s Lucerne project, if approved, would allow expansion of operations. The extension of the comment period was announced at a Monday session during which public comments were taken in person at the Bryan Building on Stewart Street in Carson City.

Testimony there came from three people, with one raising the specter of runoff pollution and two others questioning the impact on wells in the area.

Gayle Sherman of Silver City provided the most testimony, noting the area is part of the Carson River Superfund site and raising concerns about mercury, arsenic and lead concentrations.

She said the American Creek bed should be thoroughly tested for toxins before any action on the company’s request. She said change “constitutes a disturbance of the Superfund site,” which could lead to contamination downstream in the watershed. The creek, when it has water flows, connects to the Carson River. Sherman also read a lengthy hydrologist’s report raising similar runoff and other concerns.

Public comments in writing will be accepted until 5 p.m. Thursday at NDEP’s Bureau of Mining Regulation and Reclamation at 901 S. Stewart St.