IMPORTANT CALL TO ACTION IN CALIFORNIA ON SB637:
We just learned minutes ago that the public only has until tomorrow to have a letter in opposition to SB637 in the hands of the next committee, the Environmental Quality Committee.
Here is a sample letter from WMA and while we love their letter, you should not copy and paste this letter, but write your own. Your letter of opposition should include the following:
1) there is no scientific studies which show increased levels of mercury anywhere in CA from suction dredging.
2) The Sierra Fund Lake Combie project receives tax payer money to dredge, while permit dredgers are denied.
3) Suction dredgers create revenue in the permitting process for CA.
4) This bill adversely affects the poor and middle class of CA. Literally tens of millions of dollars are lost to the rural communities with the money they would have spent going to their claims, purchasing gas, food, hardware and equipment.
I strongly oppose this bill as written.
Mr. Shannon Poe
American Mining Rights Association.
These letters must be faxed in to:
Committee on Environmental Quality
Attn: Rachel Machi Wagoner
State Capitol, Room 2205
Sacramento, CA 9581
FAX (916) 322-3519
It is sad that the process now to have our voices heard is so convoluted that most are silenced. Please send your letter today. Here is a little more information about SB637 from our friends at WMA:
Senator Allen, D-26th District (Redondo Beach) introduced SB 637 on 27 February 2015.
This bill requires the California Water Quality Board to regulate suction dredging
through water quality permits.
He represents one of the wealthiest districts in the country, which includes Beverly Hills,
Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Palos Verdes Estates and Santa Monica. Yet, he has
introduced legislation which is specifically targeted at the poor and working class by
imposing yet more fees and permitting requirements which we believe will be impossible
to meet by the majority of suction dredgers.
This bill would be enormously harmful to dredging, it requires:
(1) By July 1st, 2017 the Water Board to establish a permitting process for suction
dredging and “related mining activities.” (The words related mining activities indicates
this bill could/would cover panning, sluicing, highbanking and even camping along the
(2) The language indicates that prior to receiving a permit, each dredger would have to
submit a report to the regional Water Board which would provide the details of the
specific “wastes” to be discharged.
(3) Authorizes the Water Board to prohibit suction dredge mining “consistent with
Federal law). (This indicates to us the Water Board is being given the authority to
prohibit dredging on State and private lands).
(4) The bill specifically requires the Water Board to study mercury, and the effects of
mercury from suction dredging. (This indicates to us they will prepare yet another biased environmental impact report, find we discharge mercury and prohibit).
This is a bad bill for dredgers (and all miners). Please call Senator Allen, and your local
state representative and tell them this bill doesn’t help water quality and is specifically
targeted to impact the poor. It’s ironic a bill introduced by the wealthiest district in
California, is targeted to harm the poorest districts of California.
Please call the capitol office, and the district office. Tell them the truth about suction
dredging, it takes nothing from the water, and adds nothing to the water. Two Supreme
Court cases have already decided the act of taking the water, adding nothing to the water,and returning the water is not a discharge of a pollutant. We will sue again, and we will win again.
Senator Ben Allen
State Capitol, Room 2054
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone (916) 651-4026
Senator Ben Allen
2512 Artesia Blvd, #320
Redondo Beach, CA 90278