Air at the Idaho Maryland Mine project: The Details

In summary, this project would emit significant pollution that would conflict with federal, state, and local efforts to control air pollution. Our region is primarily sensitive to ozone which has been shown to increase asthma in children and to significantly affect elderly and ill people along with anyone who exercises outdoors.

The following statements are taken directly from the Idaho Maryland Mine Project Master Environmental Assessment, p4.3-1 through p4.3-21

Three toxic air contaminants (TACs) are of specific concern in association with mining operations such as the proposed project. These are diesel particulate matter (DPM) from onsite mobile equipment, generators, and haul trucks, asbestos-containing rock, and crystalline silica dust from blasting and fugitive dust sources. TACs would also released within the processing operations such as the ceramic and gold plants.

Potential air pollutant impacts include dust and combustion emissions from the following activities:

  • Underground operations - drilling, blasting, mucking, screening, crushing
  • Ore transport and storage - hauling, conveying, stockpiling  See more on pollution from diesel trucks
  • Ore processing - screening, crushing, grinding, classification
  • Ceramic feed preparation and heating
  • Glaze preparation and application
  • Vehicle traffic (worker, haul, and equipment)
Further concerns described in this document are:
  • "Emissions of NOx may be significant as a result of the burning of natural gas as part of the ceramics plant and the mobile equipment.
  • Emissions of PM10 may be significant due to fugitive dust from mining operations.
  • Emissions of ROG (reactive organic gas) may be significant due to glaze operations, the ceramic plant, and onsite mobile equipment and haul trucks.
  • The blasting activities and potential impacts of asbestos to the ambient air via vent shafts may be of concern.
  • Toxic Air Contaminant (TAC) emissions would also be released by the ceramic and glaze operations. These TACs would include metals and volatile organic compounds which may have the potential to cause carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic health effects.
  • Traffic generated by the project would have the potential to affect CO concentrations along surface streets, intersections, and near stagnation points such as major highways and heavily traveled and congested roadways.
  • While offensive odors rarely cause any physical harm, they can still be very unpleasant, leading to considerable distress among the public and often generating citizen complaints to local governments and the NSAQMD. ...Odors from this project may be associated with the ceramic and gold processing and the water treatment plant.
Bottom Line: You will be exposing yourself, your children, and your parents to significantly higher levels of toxic air contaminants which have been shown to cause numerous health impacts including asthma and cancer.

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