NPDES
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Thread: NPDES

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  1. #1
    us
    Ed Tracy

    Jan 2015
    Shoreline,wa
    Equinox 800
    666
    1106 times
    Prospecting

    NPDES

    Does the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System really apply to placer mining on a river. All the mining I have done here in Washington State has been done with no pollutants, all discharge into the river is from the river and banks and that is natural not a pollutant. It is legal to use a sluice and pan here in Wash. ST. but cannot use my electric high-banker now, where is there logic. It would wiser for WDFW to apply this to fisher man that use lead weights and also to go after all the towns and cities that pollute Washington state waters, but we few miners are there scape goats, sad.

  2. #2
    us
    Just Another Old Guy

    Feb 2008
    Grays Harbor in Washington state
    Whites Spectrum XLT with about 1/4" of dust on it
    736
    1375 times
    Prospecting
    I am trying to believe that the new rules are so out of line with science and truth that they will be modified to a more common sense ruling....Oh wait, it's the government just following the more extreme and money donating environmental and sport fishing PAC lobbyists requests for fear of more expensive litigation

    Ever see the damage to the river bottom a jet boat does going thru shallow water, you can follow the trails of disturbed gravel easily
    russau, et1955 and Gold4Mike like this.
    I'm a drinker with a heavy prospecting problem and I'm out of dirt again

  3. #3
    us
    Feb 2015
    Moses Lake WA & Provo UT
    520
    731 times
    Prospecting
    I believe the requirement of an NPDES permit per the Clean Water Act has been one of the major tools that California (then OR and WA) has been using as a roadblock to miners and has been a main point of debate (although there really is no question it's absurd) for some time. Hopefully, someone who knows more will correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the supreme court of Oregon recently ruled that a suction dredge is considered to discharge a pollutant and therefore require the permit. Very bad.
    et1955 and russau like this.

  4. #4
    us
    Just Another Old Guy

    Feb 2008
    Grays Harbor in Washington state
    Whites Spectrum XLT with about 1/4" of dust on it
    736
    1375 times
    Prospecting
    In 3 years I'm outta this state
    Won't be able to afford the taxes, the fishing/hunting lisc., the lack of fish to catch due to under management , the huge logging road access permit fees, some of the highest gas taxes in the country and don't get me started on the sin tax for smokes and alcohol. Now about all I can do is retire my pumps, dredge and high banker and just use a pan or small sluice until the time comes to move to a little bit more sane place
    et1955, russau and Reed Lukens like this.
    I'm a drinker with a heavy prospecting problem and I'm out of dirt again

  5. #5
    us
    Ed Tracy

    Jan 2015
    Shoreline,wa
    Equinox 800
    666
    1106 times
    Prospecting
    Does the NPDES rules affect those that use electric motorized equipment , No. The NPSED is all about adding pollutants to the waterway, Dredgers do , not only do they possibly add gas to the waterway, then there is the air pollution from the engine , plus the noise pollution. It is in the cards, dredgers go green or give it up.

  6. #6
    us
    Feb 2015
    Moses Lake WA & Provo UT
    520
    731 times
    Prospecting
    The “pollutant” they claim that dredgers add is actually the dredged material itself. So by their definition, gravel gets sucked up the hose, goes over the sluice, gold, mercury, and other heavies stay, the rest that goes off the end and back into the water is now considered a pollutant and it never even left the river.
    Clay Diggins and et1955 like this.

  7. #7
    us
    Aug 2004
    Olympia WA
    Minelab Xterra 70, Minelab SD 2200d, 2.5", 3", 4"and several Keene 5" production dredges, Knelson Centrifuge, Gold screw automatic panner
    895
    1964 times
    Prospecting
    The Supreme Court has already ruled that the discharge from a dredge is not a pollutant

  8. #8
    us
    Feb 2015
    Moses Lake WA & Provo UT
    520
    731 times
    Prospecting
    Oh, I guess I misunderstood. What’s the reason for the NPDES then?
    et1955 likes this.

  9. #9
    us
    Ed Tracy

    Jan 2015
    Shoreline,wa
    Equinox 800
    666
    1106 times
    Prospecting
    Owen T. we are the scapegoats for the miss management of the WDFW and the fisherman over fishing. Simple as that. We went threw this back in the late 1990's, sluicing was made illegal except for one month of the year and they tried to make it illegal to step in a river yet fisherman were allow too. Do you see the pattern here. Guess what after they crushed the WPMA by there new laws back then "Late 1990's" the rules changed back to normal. The main reason the rules changed is because they found out threw studies back then that mining had no impact on the fisheries, why this is being done again is about politics not science.
    OwenT and russau like this.

  10. #10
    us
    Aug 2004
    Olympia WA
    Minelab Xterra 70, Minelab SD 2200d, 2.5", 3", 4"and several Keene 5" production dredges, Knelson Centrifuge, Gold screw automatic panner
    895
    1964 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by OwenT View Post
    Oh, I guess I misunderstood. What’s the reason for the NPDES then?
    The reason is to make it as difficult as possible to mine legally. Most miners want to be compliant with the law and if the permitting and restrictions are too difficult to follow then they will give up. The push to end mining is driven my the money from the fishing groups, many of which are shills for environmental activism. The ironic part is they claim we are killing fish when they are licensed to do so

  11. #11
    us
    Sep 2008
    Inland NW
    Ace 250
    451
    144 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    can we recover the "pollutants" and if so, where would we dispose of them, otherwise?
    -Airborne1092

    bellum est praesto

  12. #12
    Charter Member
    us
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
    3,882
    11465 times
    Prospecting
    Here's a brief discussion of the Supreme Court decisions regarding NPDES. Notice that without a discharge of pollution from a "point source" no NPDES is required. That's written right into the law and if you follow these things the Supreme Court is getting a little cranky about repeating that over and over.

    The LA case at the Supreme Court was about the question:
    Under the Clean Water Act, does a “discharge of pollutants” occur when polluted water “flows from one portion of a river that is navigable water of the United States, through a concrete channel or other engineered improvement in the river,” and then “into a lower portion of the same river”?
    The answer from the court was once again a BIG no. Stuff that starts in the water and is returned to the same water does NOT require an NPDES permit.

    So when you pony up to your State Water Board and declare you are a point source of water pollution to get a permit to dredge or sluice you are going against the actual law as well as two Supreme Court decisions. The government gets it's power from the people. When you go along with local government overreach you are giving power to the very government actions you know are wrong.

    Below is my personal opinion stated for years on many forums:

    This all could have been cleared up long ago if small mining groups would stick to this one simple fact. The NPDES can't apply to instream mining activities.

    Instead mining groups have pursued dozens of other theories about why the permit is too expensive, hard to get, restrictive, wasn't discussed enough, goes against the mining laws, is no business of the state, is a takings and many more weak arguments. Millions have been spent and still no results because lawyers make money arguing whether they win or not. The more arguments the more time and money spent. In fact in at least one state losing arguments for small miners have become a bigger source of income for lawyers than mining has been for small miners. Think about that for a minute.

    I know of a few lawyers who have made millions on this issue in California. There are several mining groups that wouldn't exist today if they couldn't rally their members to donate more money for these same lawyers. Guess what - if the money dries up the lawyers and the mining groups will go away and then you will be standing alone with this one simple fact:

    No NPDES permit is required.

    Just like the Supreme Court and the Clean Water Act have been saying all along.

    Heavy Pans
    Last edited by Clay Diggins; Jul 06, 2020 at 06:03 PM.

  13. #13
    us
    Feb 2015
    Moses Lake WA & Provo UT
    520
    731 times
    Prospecting
    Ok it seems I got confused while reading the documents on the thread The Kitchnar response to DEQ for the SCOTUS case is out

    I now see that it stated that the OR Supreme Court and ninth circuit had both considered “mere movement” or “soup pot and ladle” to be addition of a pollutant but IN CONFLICT with the SCOTUS decision.

    Thanks Clay.

    I have heard now that the WA biologists are denying HPAs unless an NPDES is obtained first. So this point it means they should just be told to take a hike, right?
    et1955, russau and Clay Diggins like this.

  14. #14
    us
    Ed Tracy

    Jan 2015
    Shoreline,wa
    Equinox 800
    666
    1106 times
    Prospecting
    Owen, is this constitutional, think about it, we take pollution out of the river, lead, mercury and other stuff, fisherman are the ones who need to apply for the NPDES, that wont go well. Think about it, fisherman use lead, nylon line, plastic lures and some use expensive gas powered boats to fish. You see the problem and there are a lot more fisherman using gas powered boats than there are dredgers in this state, also I will add one of the main problems with the WDFW is that they introduced non native steelhead to our rivers witch are eating all the smolts and fry of our native fish all in the name to sell fishing licenses. The WDFW is only funded buy license fees. That is the problem.
    russau and OwenT like this.

  15. #15
    us
    Jun 2010
    440
    390 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Bonaro View Post
    The reason is to make it as difficult as possible to mine legally. Most miners want to be compliant with the law and if the permitting and restrictions are too difficult to follow then they will give up. The push to end mining is driven my the money from the fishing groups, many of which are shills for environmental activism. The ironic part is they claim we are killing fish when they are licensed to do so
    OH! THE IRONY!

 

 

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