Forum Index > Stewardship > Kiewit Marblemount Quarry - Just in case this slipped under the radar
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Doppelganger
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PostFri Apr 05, 2019 8:33 am 
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It caught the residents of Marblemount by surprise evidently, so let's give a hand to Kiewit for a proper introduction of the project and setting the tone for how they plan to work with us on this.

Documents submitted to Skagit County are here: https://www.skagitcounty.net/Departments/PlanningAndPermit/MarblemountQuarry.htm

Reviewing the documents submitted to Skagit County, I have many questions regarding the claims they are making to get the quarry opened. The primary application of the rock quarried from the proposed Marblemount location is a jetty repair at the mouth of the Columbia River. No further plans for the quarried rock are specified, but Kiewit makes clear that they expect the quarry to continue operating for ~100 years before letting it go - does Kiewit or the Army Corps expect the jetty project to be ongoing for the duration? What need for the quarry will there be after the jetty rehabilitation contract is complete? This is not defined in the proposals, and it should be considering the ongoing impact.
Kiewit wrote:
The full lifespan of the quarry would be up to 100 years or whenever the source of rock is exhausted.

My impression is that they are rushing the approval of the quarry project in order to get the rip rap rock shipping as soon as possible, since Kiewit has already been awarded the Columbia River jetty repair contract and they are now under the gun to actually start working the project - nice planning on that btw Kiewit, saying "yes we can do this" to the Army Corps before you even know where you are going to get the rock.

Section 1.3 of Kiewits Detailed Project Plan claims that "Jetty stone requires unique physical properties that few available quarry sources along the west coast of the United States can provide" and that "There are extremely limited sources of suitable rock in high enough quantities that can be permitted in the necessary time frame to be viable. The rock at the Marblemount Quarry site meets USACE jetty stone density requirements and has enough volume of rock for several anticipated jetty repair projects which is why this site was selected".  Bold emphasis added, just in case the stated reasons in the quote weren't clear enough. Also note that there is no definition of the 'unique physical properties', preventing anyone from proposing alternative sites.

Section 1.5 of the Detailed Project Plan claims "No homes immediately border the project area and residential density in the adjacent surrounding area is low". While the project border adjacent to Willow Lane is not clearly defined, it is immediately evident that there are multiple residences abutting the proposed project area and at least one residence within the proposed project area. Let's not forget the state park or the Skagit River immediately adjacent to the project area while we're at it.

Stone was previously quarried by Kiewit from the Beaver Lake quarry, which was approximately 25 acres in size. The proposed Marblemount site is approximately 79 acres in size, but current/proposed projects are fewer than were supplied by Kiewit from the Beaver Lake quarry. Why the discrepancy?

The US Army Corps of Engineers has some very detailed requirements regarding how rock is quarried, stored, delivered, etc and these requirements can change depending on whether the awarded contract is an emergency contract (which the Columbia River Jetty project has been referred to by USACE and Kiewit). Thus, when reviewing section 1.6 of USACE's Stone, Channel & Shoreline/Coastal Protection for Structures and comparing them to sections 3.2 through 3.12 of Kiewit's Detailed Project Plan, one may see some possible discrepancies or potential for discrepancies or violations.

https://www.wbdg.org/FFC/DOD/UFGS/UFGS%2035%2031%2019.pdf

One last thought - why do they propose logging 600 acres to access a 79 acre project?
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Anne Elk
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PostMon Apr 08, 2019 3:17 pm 
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Doppelganger wrote:
why do they propose logging 600 acres to access a 79 acre project?

Probably to accommodate all the other onsite activities that they list on page 5 of their SEPA environmental checklist, and other assorted elbow-room issues not listed:

Quote:
• Providing for an approximately 5-acre armor stone staging area in the western portion of P45543;
• Constructing a gravel area with 35 parking spaces;
• Providing a scale control shed and a 70-ton portable scale;
• Providing a maintenance facility, a lubrication storage unit, a spill response Connex, a tool storage facility;
• Providing three ANFO and emulsion trailers and two high explosive magazine storage buildings;
• Providing an off-road diesel tank, a highway diesel tank, and a gasoline tank;
• Providing an office structure;
• Providing an approximately 13-acre undersized rock stockpile area within the existing MRO area on P128574;
• Implementing rock quarrying within the existing MRO using a “top down” approach such that rock would not be cast off the cliff face;
• Transporting quarry rock on-site to the stockpile or staging areas by truck;

Since the time for commenting on this project has passed, it's doubtful that anything can be done at this point to propose changes.

I have considerable past experience fighting quarry projects.  For a time I was on the board of the Stillaguamish Citizens' Alliance and one of their grant writers when they were fighting the Associated Sand & Gravel project proposal alongside the Stillaguamish River on the Mt. Loop Highway, back in the 90's.  We fought them for seven years. The course of how things went opened my eyes to truth about the "regulatory process",  which for the most part, is designed to regulate those who object.  You may win a few battles and get a few concessions, but likely lose the war.  That would be especially true in this case, since a quarry already exists on the site,  the county likely wants the project to go, and many of the county residents do too, given the need for jobs up there.

No doubt if an astute technician combed through all the project documents, they would find many discrepancies and assertions to contest, which might have provided a basis for insisting on more mitigation than the company is proposing.

Lastly, from some comments in the documents, it appears that the company is positioning itself to provide this rock product for a number of projects up & down the coast, although the Columbia project is maybe the largest. Getting their bid in before they had all the county permits suggests they didn't expect any opposition.  One surprising thing is that the company plans to truck all the material down to the Columbia, rather than barge it down, but I may have missed it.  My sympathies to those directly impacted.

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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Apr 08, 2019 6:36 pm 
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You know there is a lot of riprap already by the river. There is a reason it is called Columbia River Basalt. doh.gif

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Brushwork
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PostMon Apr 08, 2019 8:18 pm 
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That's a long distance to truck rock.  I have a hard time thinking there isn't appropriate rock much closer.

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treeswarper
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PostTue Apr 09, 2019 11:47 am 
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I'm thinking that they'd barge it from the Sound.

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treeswarper
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PostTue Apr 09, 2019 11:59 am 
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The mining operation will require the removal of 2.7 million board feet of timber from approximately 90 acres of six parcels totaling 600 acres. Stumps will be removed and the area graded in preparation for quarry operations.

They are "logging" 90 acres which is part of six parcels totaling 600 acres.  Apparently it is a bit scattered or on edges of other land parcels.  Perhaps there is a harvest plan written and in place for the rest of the parcels but it is not part of the rock pit project.  Can't tell from what is written.

Whenever you have a large, equipment driven project, you need extra acreage to process rock, load, and store and move equipment around.

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KMarks
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PostMon Apr 15, 2019 4:45 pm 
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This is just not true. We have organized and had over 600 pages of complaints. We do not want the mountain blasted to bits- we want to KEEP BIG BEAR MOUNTAIN PRISTINE AND WILD-This mountain is less than a mile from the SKAGIT RIVER so if your with us then join us in writing to SKAGIT COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT in the comment period- you do not  half to be a county resident to comment- Help us in asking for an Environmental Impact Statement because this is your river too. This river puts 1/3 of the fresh water into the Puget Sound. This is our water and water is life.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10217643578014973&set=gm.848997038775174&type=3&eid=ARDrn587F2_T909TtdL4kJGGUe5O95ne-DIpkaVrIxbLHR8OUOgPHnch7gFRc7RUQs-Hjgak0sDzHWF4

https://www.facebook.com/stopmarblemountquarry/photos/rpp.2159924534100647/2159924964100604/?type=3&eid=ARAb_XZjIG7mFiEDfVLLJKciGgaTjwh9k7UAZTPTIfs-GWKgU_fKaPhlRGO95JULu17pT_sbBK1-ygpI

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Anne Elk
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PostMon Apr 15, 2019 6:57 pm 
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I don't play on Facebook, KMarks, so can't see anything on there with respect to what your community has done up to now.  Just submitting letters during the comment period is not going to stop the project.  Likely, neither would hiring an attorney and going through the formal process of contesting any phase of the  permitting process with respect to EIS issues, unless there's something really compelling reason you can show the county not to allow expansion of what's already there.  Like some public rep of a quarry proponent in Snohomish County said, "that's where the material is".   Check out the story of SCA's fight against the Associated Quarry, below. 

Sorry to be overly pessimistic, and I'm not saying you shouldn't try, but you're up against what we fought; same old story, different county; and in your case,  the quarry already exists. When it comes to the environment, I discovered local citizens have almost zero rights.  Good luck.  shakehead.gif

A Brief History of the Stillaguamish Citizens' Alliance

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