power sluicing
Last Post 08 Dec 2015 11:23 AM by JERE CLEMENTS. 6 Replies.
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EUGENE STRAINUser is Offline
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19 May 2015 12:10 AM
    Is it legal to power sluice in CA. High banker in the stream feeding stream material. Can't dredge need some way to get gold.
    KENNETH SWINEFORDUser is Offline
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    19 May 2015 12:32 PM
    Straight from the horses mouth so to speak Of California Water Board:The Fish and Game Code, the Clean Water Act, and the California Water Code prohibit you from discharging water and waste sediment from your highbanker or power sluice to an area such that it may enter a stream, river, lake, or other surface water body without a permit from the Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Water Board) responsible for the area where you’ll be mining. Currently there is no general permit available for discharges of water and waste sediment from highbankers or power sluices to streams, rivers, lakes, or other surface water bodies.



    You can discharge water and waste sediment from your highbanker or power sluice to land but you must first apply for a permit from the Regional Water Board responsible for the area where you’ll be mining I would recommend you look there and read it more in depth. 



    Personally I would look into the old fashion type rocker box. Or perhaps purchase a big stock tub/tank and discharge into that and recirculate.
    Benjamin CrainUser is Offline
    Lost Dutchman
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    19 May 2015 06:59 PM
    There is always more than one way to skin a cat. Is it possible you could dredge with a runoff into a tank and then then reuse the water as long as you can and then transport it to the California Water Board? I understand their extreme drought and can see why they are being cautious, is it possible to have a go between? I know this will take some work to configure but is possible.

    We have an El Nino this year but their drought will end long before they lift these laws, hopefully we can find a work around. Then you could prove that you did not misuse the water supply but also transported all possible contaminated water to them for them to decide what to do with, which will certainly be tested and redistributed back into the water supply. Proving once again that dredges remove toxic materials from our natural water supplies?

    Just an idea.
    joseph LoydUser is Offline
    Lost Dutchman
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    20 May 2015 07:52 PM
    Check with the forest service on that question .I know that in the area I work that if you have your highbanker in the stream you have to work in the stream .That comes from the mining engineer in that office.If you are digging outside the creek you have too have a sedimate pond for the dirty water .Some people say you need a permit from the DWR ,but that was shot down .
    Member LDMA and several other clubs in CA.
    Chris MakiUser is Offline
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    26 Nov 2015 10:21 AM

    ".Some people say you need a permit from the DWR ,but that was shot down ."

     

     

    Do you have any info on the line above? Who or what organization shot it down? It is helpful to have that data if challenged in the field. I would like to use a recirculating power sluice and self contained unit of both water and waste (not a waste pond). However, when I take the waste out of the unit then I fall under the DWR waste permit by reading it. I would be glad to keep the water but not the processed waste dirt.

     

    I would love to put the DWR permit issue to rest at some point. I don't have the biggest pocket book to pay the fines if they win in court. It seems set for large organizations not the little people. Has anyone called and questioned the DWR about what falls under the waiver rule?

     

    V/r

    chris martoneUser is Offline
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    27 Nov 2015 06:10 PM
    So is it legal to power sluice in the river if you are running material from the river bottom?
    JERE CLEMENTSUser is Offline
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    08 Dec 2015 11:23 AM
    I hate to open the can of worms on this subject ,,,,,but. The short answer is yes it is legal to run a highbanker in California, in or out of a stream (at least for the rest of the year). The problem is any LEO you might encounter will not have a full understanding of the current policies of their own organization. (had a Forest Service LEO tell me last weekend I needed a Plan of Operation,,,,,, whole other story)

    SB 637 which was just passed and signed into law by Gov. Moonbeam gives the California State Waterboard authority to regulate "discharges" into state waters and goes into effect in January. So highbankers that do not discharge into the water should remain ok. SB 637 was written to regulate, specifically, dredging but unfortunately the definition of "dredge" in it encompasses a whole lot more than dredges. For us prospectors and for that matter the LEO's it will be a very confusing year as to what is "legal" and what is not. Unfortunately I foresee a lot of citations and court cases before this is clarified.

    Question to ponder,,,,,, How long do you think it will take the Waterboard to develop the permit program? The law goes into effect in January so I am sure they have it all set and ready to go,,,,, right?

    On a brighter note: The last dredging case in Fresno was "dismissed" by the judge just last month! To say it another way, in the words of Judge Ochoa the dredging ban is "illegal and unenforceable"!
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