March 13, 2000
Not all of the quarry impacts are acceptable
This letter is in response to the letter in the March 6th Valley View, regarding the Duvall Rock Quarry.
Mr. Jackels, the letter writer, represents the company applying for the application to mine this site. There has already been much money spent studying the effects of the quarry, and many of the impacts have been deemed "acceptable." However, there are several that have not:
And here are some of the true impacts of importing rock from outlying areas:
- By EPA standards, the company's study states that the blasting noise levels would be "above the annoyance criterion," and with two forms of mitigation in place, sound level increases during operations would be "significant."
- The company proposes to clear ten acres of land at a time, burning all the debris.
- The stream, which is currently a beautiful waterfall running down the middle of the site, is proposed to be entirely rerouted, and the 2,600 feet of "habitable waters for fish and wildlife" will be just downstream of a quarry--one of the worst-known producers of dust and grime.
- The Transpo Group, the "highly respected traffic consultant" that was hired to do "an in-depth analysis," failed to study any morning traffic impacts--no morning analysis at all. Yet they justify their evening findings by stating that the "vast majority of daily truck operations [would be] in the earlier part of the day. This is primarily due to quarry materials requiring delivery to job sites early in the work day." If they can say that, why weren't there any studies done for morning traffic? Did they forget?
- It is true that the traffic studies show that the level of service at any intersection will not change. That's because current predictions, shown in the same study, indicate a service level of "F"--FAILING. So, if it's failing, what's another 544 trucks a day? Is that the thinking? And again, you mentioned in your letter that "the quarry's traffic would only be 1.1 percent of that afternoon/evening peak hour traffic." What about the morning, when most of the trucks will be using SR-203? There's no mention. And the impacts of a 40,000-lb. truck and trailer will not in any way equal those of a passenger car.
- "Periodic movement of equipment" up Cherry Valley and Mountain View Roads includes hauling a rock drill, a bulldozer, and an excavator, an unspecified number of times down small, windy back roads, and the route includes roads that school buses do not currently travel on. And the road used for "transport product (rock)" floods out at least once a year. It will be hard to convince anyone that if the road floods and there's a deadline to meet, we won't be seeing your trucks in the morning, right next to all the kids walking to the bus stop.
- The "two-hundred-foot screen" is not going to hide 83 acres of blasted wall that stand seven hundred feet above the valley floor. You cannot expect to "camouflage" that--especially on a slope that is visible for almost 2 miles if you are driving north on SR-203.
- The company also states that "there is no potential aquifer disaster that would result from this quarry project." Please. This quarry would have a devastating impact on our fragile well water system, which is impacted by even small earthquakes and grading on adjacent properties.
These are not rumors. These are not misconceptions. These are documented facts. For a copy of the list of facts, clearly documented from the Duvall Quarry proposal, check out our website at www.cherry-valley.net and click on "The Quarry."
- The same costs for roads, bridges, construction, schools, etc., as we pay now.
- 500 less trucks a day on our roads, reducing wear and tear and traffic.
King County has issued a Determination of Significance regarding this project, stating that this proposal "does pose a probable significant adverse impact to the environment." The county is hosting a pubic meeting to hear individual and community concerns regarding this project. I urge any person with the slightest interest in this proposal to attend the public meeting regarding this quarry. It will be held at the Cherry Valley Elementary School on Monday, March 27, at 7 p.m. Your attendance is vital to maintain our way of life here in the Valley.
If you can't attend the meeting, please submit a written comment. These need to be received by the county by March 27th. You can send your comment to: King County Land Use Services Division; 900 Oakesdale Avenue SW; Renton, WA 98055-1219; Attn.: Current Planning Section. It doesn't need to be fancy or typed; it just has to tell them what your concerns are.
What can you do to help? Do you think that you're just one voice? You're not. Don't sit back and let other people do all the work. And don't even think that we won't win.
Lisa Theriault, Technical Advisor, Friends of Cherry Valley