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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treeswarper
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PostMon Apr 22, 2019 7:30 am 
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KMarks wrote:
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

I won't use bold face or shouting fonts, but why don't you start by restoring the entire Puget Sound area?  Join Friends of Seattle and work to restore that area to "pristine, old growth forest" instead?   agree.gif

Frankly, with all the population influx, King County and other environs are doomed.  But that's ok, keep encouraging your friends to move there. 

With the advent of the internet, our sekrit ways were violated when ignorant people began posting photos on line that were taken on sunny days. 

You posted, you encouraged, now you pay the price.  Now it's in your backyard.  Granted, the jetty would eventually need some maintenance, but where do you think that the rock for local roads comes from?  China?  Or the 2x4s for your housing?  This sounds ( I am not familiar with the area) of a case of the population expanding out into the hinterlands where the dirty work is done to support those suburbs and cities.  Kind of like buying property and building a house next to a well established noisy business and then trying to stop that business. 

You can't live in a place without impacting the place.

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Doppelganger
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PostMon Apr 22, 2019 9:02 am 
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treeswarper wrote:
why don't you start by restoring the entire Puget Sound area?  Join Friends of Seattle and work to restore that area to "pristine, old growth forest" instead

?

Sorry, I didn't see any reference to restoring King County or Puget Sound as a whole in this thread. Can you quote the sentence(s) that led you to this conclusion?

treeswarper wrote:
King County and other environs are doomed.  But that's ok, keep encouraging your friends to move there

?

Sorry, I didn't see any reference to the current state of King County or its viability as a residence in this thread. Can you quote the sentence(s) that led you to this conclusion?

treeswarper wrote:
our sekrit ways were violated when ignorant people began posting photos on line that were taken on sunny days. 

You posted, you encouraged, now you pay the price.  Now it's in your backyard.

This is an interesting claim for certain. Can you make a dot-to-dot for me that specifies exactly how photos in our TRs led to the Marblemount quarry proposal?

treeswarper wrote:
but where do you think that the rock for local roads comes from?  China?  Or the 2x4s for your housing?

I really don't think the Marblemount quarry is going to play any kind of critical role in the construction of local roads. Crushing and redistribution of trash rock is scheduled for a 'future phase' in the proposal. We've all been out there long enough to know that when you need rock for an access road you just scratch out a new pit, they are everywhere. I'm sure there is no emergency demand for road rock, the current quarries are doing the job.

treeswarper wrote:
( I am not familiar with the area)

Hmm. Should you have said that at the beginning of your post?

treeswarper wrote:
a case of the population expanding out into the hinterlands where the dirty work is done to support those suburbs and cities.  Kind of like buying property and building a house next to a well established noisy business and then trying to stop that business. 

You can't live in a place without impacting the place.

I think this is more akin to the noisy business buying property next to the well established house(s), and proceeding to void their noisy bowels and bladders anywhere they like.

If you live in a place you should consider the impact you have on that place. We see today the consequences of simply accepting 'impact'.
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geyer
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PostTue Apr 23, 2019 12:49 pm 
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Doppelganger wrote:
Also note that there is no definition of the 'unique physical properties', preventing anyone from proposing alternative sites.

You needed to read the engineering reports for this information.

From the "Engineering analysis and drainage plans":

Quote:
Shuksan greenschist, the target mineral for the quarrying actions, is a member of the Easton Metamorphic suite, which also includes Darrington phyllite, a metasedimentary unit which stratigraphically overlies the Shuksan greenschist. The oceanic shale and sandstone protolith of the Darrington phyllite was deposited on top of the oceanic basalt protolith of the Shuksan greenschist, which originally formed in the Middle and Late Jurassic and was metamorphosed in the Early Cretaceous (Brown, 1987). The Shuksan greenschist is described as “a fine-grained but well-recrystallized metamorphic rock, commonly containing sodic amphiboles” (Tabor et. al, 2003).

The hydrologic assessment goes more in-depth into Shuksan Greenschist and reasons why it is ideal for jetties:

Quote:
The Shuksan Greenschist bedrock that occupies the eastern portion of the Project Area is hypothesized to essentially be an aquitard that restricts groundwater movement... For the scope of this project the Shuksan Greenschist bedrock is considered an aquitard and nearly impermeable.


If you look at this geologic map, the Shuksan greenschist isn't exactly rare, but it is mostly on the north side of the Skagit River, whereas this quarry is on the south side.
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MtnGoat
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PostTue Apr 23, 2019 1:27 pm 
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Doppelganger wrote:
We see today the consequences of simply accepting 'impact'.

Yes we do. People who are in the top 1% wealth in human history, benefitting from all the impacts and trade they're not even aware of, to the point they are so well off it seems like these things just happen.

So their opposition to production or trade in things they don't think they need locally, becomes a rallying cry to stop someone from creating more wealth and trade. It's not 'needed', I'm sure, as if they can tell what people they don't even know ..want to trade for, and why.

All they really can know is what they themselves  want...and that is of course front and center.

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Dick B
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PostTue Apr 23, 2019 4:04 pm 
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I lived in Coos Bay, OR  in the early 60s. During that time the Corp rebuilt one of the jetties at the mouth of Coos Bay and another at the mouth of the Umpqua. The Coos rock was to be quarried just east of town, but it didn't meet specs so they went to some where around Powers which is south near the Rogue River. I remember the loads that came thru town. All the rock was hauled on flat bed semis. As I remember they could only haul like 3 rocks per load. I believe the Umpqua rock came from an island up the Columbia behind one of the dams. It was barged down the coast.
I can't believe a contractor would bid a job without knowing where the material was going to come from. The transportation costs have got to be out of this world. Hope it's not cost plus cuz my tax dollars are paying for this.
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Stefan
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PostTue Apr 23, 2019 5:40 pm 
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Hello.  Dumbass here!  This rock is for a jetty at the Columbia River.  Correct?  If so, why is there a need for a new jetty?  I thought everything was fine as it was.  Please help me understand.  Thanks!

edit:
found it:
https://govtribe.com/opportunity/federal-contract-opportunity/mouth-of-the-columbia-river-mcr-south-jetty-rehabilitation-w9127n19r0007-1

I guess it is jetty repair.  Not new jetty.  Makes sense.  It is global warming.  More water=more erosion=more repair.

Aint no way no one is going to stop this mining operation.  Too much commerce going through the Columbia River mouth.  That is too important for too many jobs.

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Doppelganger
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PostWed Apr 24, 2019 8:17 am 
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Stefan wrote:
Hello.  Dumbass here!  This rock is for a jetty at the Columbia River.  Correct?  If so, why is there a need for a new jetty?  I thought everything was fine as it was.  Please help me understand.  Thanks!

edit:
found it:
https://govtribe.com/opportunity/federal-contract-opportunity/mouth-of-the-columbia-river-mcr-south-jetty-rehabilitation-w9127n19r0007-1

I guess it is jetty repair.  Not new jetty.  Makes sense.  It is global warming.  More water=more erosion=more repair.

Aint no way no one is going to stop this mining operation.  Too much commerce going through the Columbia River mouth.  That is too important for too many jobs.

Definitely no need to examine the jetty repair project, it's required and unrelated to the Marblemount quarry beyond Kiewit raising their hand and saying "oh yeah, we know where to get rock for that, pay us!". Thanks to Geyer for pointing out the Kiewit documents that describe the need for Shuksan Greenschist (or a like material). It does sound like a durable and less permeable material, those features should help the jetty repairs last as long as possible.

A quick check of the WA geological map at the DNR site shows that the Shuksan Greenschist is widespread in the area, as mentioned in the Kiewit study, but viability of quarrying in other locations than Marblemount is not a question I can begin to answer. The area is too large, and the timeline of the project dictates that Kiewit get started yesterday.

No stopping the Marblemount quarry at this point, any possible chance quietly (not by mistake either I'm sure) passed us by years ago. I only wanted people to consider that we keep strangling/chipping away at what little remains. Researchers in this story propose that it could take 90-100 years to restore the Skagit as a salmon habitat. 100 years sounds like a number I saw in the Kiewit documents... frown.gif

https://www.king5.com/article/tech/science/environment/orcas/skagit-river-estuary-restoration-helps-salmon-needed-for-orcas/281-9bc74cc8-a36b-4824-863b-305a4e07c641

Dick B wrote:
I can't believe a contractor would bid a job without knowing where the material was going to come from. The transportation costs have got to be out of this world. Hope it's not cost plus cuz my tax dollars are paying for this.

These are probably the more pertinent questions at this point. Legally it's probably irrelevant whether Kiewit submitted their contract bid before having the Marblemount quarry permitted. Ethically I think it's a poor way to operate your business, bordering on dishonest, and I would still be interested in knowing if that was how it went down.

And the question of who will be paying for transportation is an important one, with answers that will probably change over the coming months and years.
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