APRIL 21, 1997

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Opinion

Mining bills are bad

mining bills I testified this week before the Senate Natural Resources and Park Committee against Engrossed House Bill 1472 (which would make mining on designated mineral resource lands an "allowed" rather than a "permitted" activity). Bruce Barnbaum of Granite Falls included as part of his testimony letters from two Snohomish County officials requesting that a decision on EHB 1472 be postponed until this county has time to lawfully designate mineral resource lands, which is part of the Growth Management Act. We must let our legislators know we oppose both EHB 1472 and SB 5434.
   Another bad bill is Substitute House Bill 1469 which would change state law, saying that "counties, cities, and towns may regulate surface mining operations only by ordinance and only in accordance with the requirements and limitations of this subsection." This bill clearly limits what can be regulated and excludes pit size, blasting, hours, and number of truck trips per day. SHB 1469 also provides "that approvals issued will be valid for 50 years or until the resource is exhausted, whichever is less."
   Citizens need to let their legislators know that the mining bills before them are the frantic act of the mining industry to get their way at the expense of the rest of us. Contact Senator Val Stevens: P.O. Box 40482, Olympia, WA 98504-0482; e-mail stevens_va@leg.wa.gov; phone number 1-360-786-7676.
   And notify Governor Gary Locke that you want him to veto these bills if they get to his desk: 1-360-902-4111; P.O. Box 40002, Olympia, WA 98504-0002.

Sharon A. Damkaer, Monroe