Northwest NEWS

March 27, 2000

Front Page

Quarry informational meeting sparsely attended

by Lisa Allen, Valley View editor

   DUVALL--Quarry proponents were ready to tell neighbors they may not even hear the blasting and that the added traffic from the rock site would hardly be noticeable. There were also fisheries experts available to talk about salmon stream restoration, and consultants to explain how the land would be reclaimed (in 60 or so years).

   But so few nearby residents (six) showed up at the informational meeting held by Duvall Quarry LLC last week that the proponents abandoned their planned presentation in favor of simply answering questions from individuals.

   Friends of Cherry Valley, a group opposing the quarry, boycotted the event, saying they would attend the SEPA scoping hearing scheduled for March 27 (past press time for this week's paper).

   Quarry applicant Joe Jackels said later he had hoped more residents would come out and find "the real truth about the project. It was a great opportunity to find out what it is all about." He said the quarry group is determined to work with the community.

   But the company is going to have a hard time convincing not only Friends of Cherry Valley, but also the City of Duvall and the Chamber of Commerce, all of which have taken a stand against the quarry, that it won't have a negative impact on the area. They also have to convince the county that they will be able to effectively mitigate any impacts.

   But last week's meeting was for the neighbors and the consultants did their best, despite the low turnout.

   Jeffrey Fisher, Ph.D., a fisheries biologist, explained how the wetlands will be restored. "There will 2,200 square feet of salmonid habitat," he said. "A group of pond areas will be constructed with reaches between them and they will be designed for spawning habitat." The loss of wetlands, he explained, will be mitigated by creating more wetlands than are lost.

   Traffic consultant Chris Johnson demonstrated with charts and graphs the expected effects on nearby roads. He said that the quarry will add slightly more than 1 percent to the background traffic.

   "By 2008, there will be 282 truck trips per day, of which 80 percent would travel along SR-203," Johnson said. "The sight distance requirements have been met on 203. However, we are looking at acceleration and deceleration lanes for capacity, and we don't want to slow traffic as the trucks come in and out."

   Berms will keep the noise levels at a minimum, said Jackels. "There will be berms at the top and bottom of the quarry," he said. "Blasting will be once a week, with sirens to warn of imminent blasting."

   Noise expert Ioana Park said berms have been successful in minimizing sound levels to all applicable codes.

   Jackels said he wanted to emphasize the fact that the quarry will be monitored by federal, county, and state agencies. "If they find the quarry is polluting surface water or air quality, it will be shut down," he said. "For nine months, dust is controlled by rain ... the rest of the time, attention will be paid to dust control. Surface water issues are more difficult to manage, but the water has to be as clean coming out as going in. If we don't meet requirements, we will be shut down."

   Jackels said he hopes that people will read the completed application, since there are a lot of rumors and misconceptions related to the project, noting that some have said that the stream will go into a cement culvert. "Not true," he says.

   Jackels said that Duvall Quarry hopes to be done with the EIS paperwork in the next two to three years, but that it will be four to five years before the quarry would begin operation.

   "It will take that long to go through all the appeals," he said.