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BIG BEAR MOUNTAIN UNDER ATTACK BY MINING INTERESTS YET AGAIN!

(Apologies for the length of this article, but it’s very important, so please with it to the end, and send the message we include to DNR and Skagit County officials.)

Big mining and jetty companies are back seeking sneaky-quick approval of a mining permit at Big Bear Mountain even though Dept. of Natural Resources acknowledges “the likely presence of asbestos throughout the entire site proposed for mining” with “the potential to impact the environment and public health and safety.”  Which is exactly why DNR withdrew the last application!  But recent public document requests by the Skagit River Alliance reveal DNR plans to move ahead with the same rejected plan, and the same potential to release asbestos into the environment that got the previous application rejected!  These documents further show that (keep reading here for the scary details):

• DNR wants Skagit County to sign-off on operations and impacts without seeking new information about mitigating release of asbestos into the environment and our lungs.

• State Senator Keith Wagoner is pressuring DNR to issue a new mining permit with seemingly little regard for either State/County regulations or an open review and permitting process.  (We know this because his letter is one of the public documents produced.)

• DNR once more is an advocate and agent for big mining and not a public agency looking out for all interests.

• Skagit Planning and Development Services appears willing to simply sign-off without further details or review, relying on a 45-year-old permit for a very different operation than what is now proposed, while ignoring significant changes in the surrounding environment since then.

This is not how the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) process is designed to work.  Skagit County must be the SEPA lead agency.  Only Skagit has the ability to review onsite and offsite operations and impacts and issue necessary County permits.  The County must not abdicate this crucial role because DNR has no authority to do the County’s job.  SEPA must be followed!

Now is an extremely important time for you to let county and state officials know how mining asbestos-laden rock in Marblemount concerns you.  It is equally important to let Skagit County and DNR officials know that you expect them to follow the permit review process in a fair, open, and transparent manner without influence from political or business pressure.

Please email and call the officials listed below. Here is a suggested email template (feel free to modify if you like):

I am very concerned that Dept. of Natural Resources is trying to take over the mine permitting process yet again for the Big Bear Mountain site, despite not having jurisdiction, and having previously acknowledged during the applicant’s last failed permitting attempt, “the likely presence of asbestos throughout the entire site proposed for mining” with “the potential to impact the environment and public health and safety.”  This is exactly why DNR withdrew that last application!  But recent public document requests reveal DNR plans to move ahead with the same rejected plan, and the same potential to release asbestos into the environment that got the previous application rejected!  These documents also show that:

• DNR wants Skagit County to sign-off on operations and impacts without seeking new information about mitigating release of asbestos into the environment and our lungs.

• State Senator Keith Wagoner is pressuring DNR for a new mining permit with no apparent awareness of either State or County regulations, or an open review and permitting process.

• DNR appears to be more an advocate and agent for mining interests and not a public agency looking out for all interests.

• Skagit Planning and Development Services appears willing to simply sign-off without further details or review, relying on a 45-year-old permit for a very different operation than what is now proposed, while ignoring significant changes in the surrounding environment since then.

Review of operations by Skagit County is demanded because mitigation of asbestos dust, noise, and traffic is under their purview, not DNR.  Carefully considered mitigation measures and enforcement are critical to assuring safe, fair, and reasonable conditions for county residents, the general public, and the County environment.  And this entire process should be out in the open, not hidden away in documents only provided in response to public document requests.  Both Skagit County and DNR must provide regular updates and publish all related documents on their respective websites.

If you wish to email all relevant officials at once, you can copy and paste the following addresses into your email.  Even though outrage is warranted, these officials can hear your concerns better if you remain civil and not engage in name-calling.  Also, write as an individual, not as a member of Sierra Club or any other organization.  Not only has Mt. Baker Group, Skagit River Alliance and many other environmental groups already written DNR and the County demanding that this mess be straightened out, but these agencies need to see that regular, ordinary people are also outraged, not just the “tree-hugger” organizations.

Casey R. Hanell [email protected]

Rian Skov [email protected]

Hilary Franz [email protected]

Carlo Davis [email protected]

Lenny Young [email protected]

Tom Bugert [email protected]

Glenda Breiler [email protected]

Ana Shafer [email protected]

Nicole Damer [email protected]

Katelynn Piazza [email protected]

Sen. Keith Wagoner [email protected]

Hal Hart [email protected]

Tawnee Clearbrook [email protected]

Lisa Janicki [email protected]

Ron Wesen [email protected]

Peter Browning [email protected]

Thank you so much for your help with this!  Feel free to enlist the aid of others in sending emails.

New Comments and Articles

BIG BEAR MOUNTAIN UNDER ATTACK BY MINING INTERESTS YET AGAIN!

Oct. 19, 2021


read more

Breaking: DNR is yet again starting efforts to permit the mine

Oct. 2, 2021


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Permit Claim: No Homes Within 1.25 miles. Reality: 100 Homes.

Oct. 1, 2021


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Public Trust Has Been Undermined

Aug. 13, 2021


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DNR is Incorrect and Unresponsive: A letter to Hillary Franz

June 21, 2021


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Renowned Geologist Details Hazards

June 1, 2021


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URGENT: Please comment on the Marblemount mine proposal

May 25, 2021


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Sierra Club Letter: DNR has no authority to process the new application

May 25, 2021


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SRA Letter to County Officials re: Slope Stability and Hazard

April 28, 2021


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Big Problem with "Cascade Big Bear Mine" Proposal and Permitting Process

April 20, 2021


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Geologic Hazard Critical classification in 2011. Has this changed?

April 12, 2021


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Marblemount Quarry Permit Review Assumed by DNR, not Skagit County, Sparks Outcry

Feb. 26, 2021


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WA Dept of Fish and Wildlife explains why an EIS should be required

Nov. 15, 2020


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Comment From Kate and Larry Stram

Nov. 13, 2020


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Opposition from Mount Baker Group of the Washington State Chapter of the Sierra Club

Nov. 13, 2020


read more

Swinomish Tribal Community says "no permit should issue without a complete and thorough EIS."

Nov. 13, 2020


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Letter in Support from Local Conservation Groups

Nov. 12, 2020


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Urgent! New Mining Proposed near Marblemount

Nov. 5, 2020


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Archived Articles

On September 16, 2019, citizens were informed by the county that Kiewit is pulling out of both the permit application process and the comprehensive plan amendment process, "Marblemount Quarry", PL19-0033. The information in this archive, along with over 800 citizen comments to our county, was part of the process that helped defeat this massive project. The new proposal, “Cascade Big Bear Mine”, DNR permit number 70-013279, is for 20 years and different is scale, but most of the environmental, health, economic and other concerns remain the same. This archive is presented as a reference and background relevant to the new proposal. The full application for last year’s threat and all comments sent to the county are still available here

Skagit River Alliance Letter Opposing Kiewit Quarry Mine Special Use Permit

May 14, 2019


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Skagit Land Trust Requests “Threshold Determination of Significance” and a Full Environmental Impact Statement

May 25, 2019


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Skagit Audubon Society: An Environmental Impact Statement Should be Required

Aug. 10, 2019


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Anything Short of a Full Study of These Impacts Would Undermine SEPA’s Purpose

July 22, 2019


read more

The Swinomish Tribe’s Response to a Dismissive Letter to Skagit County From Kiewit’s Attorneys

July 22, 2019


read more

Skagit River Alliance Letter to U. S. Senators Cantrell and Murray, U. S. Reps Larson, Kilmer, Jayapal, Schrier, Smith and Heck

June 12, 2019


read more

Big Turnout for “Let the River Sing” Fundraiser by Skagit River Alliance

Aug. 12, 2019


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No Place to Blow Up a Mountain!

May 22, 2019


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Mount Baker Group of the WA State Chapter of the Sierra Club Opposes Permitting Quarry Mine

May 13, 2019


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Andrea Weiser’s Op-Ed in Cascadia Weekly

May 9, 2019


read more

Blasting Bear Mountain Will Release Hazardous Asbestos

May 12, 2019


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RE Sources for Sustainable Communities Sees Many Damaging Impacts of Quarry Mine

May 5, 2019


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GuruBani Whitney’s Letter Opposing Quarry Mine

May 9, 2019


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Letter from Andrea L. Weiser Opposing Quarry Mine in Marblemount

May 15, 2019


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Join Mark and Joan in Urging Your Outdoor Recreation Organization to Oppose Quarry Mine

May 6, 2019


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Kiewit’s proposed mining activities are expressly prohibited by Skagit County zoning

July 15, 2019


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The Way It Really Is

May 4, 2019


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Robert R. Mierendorf Says No to Proposed Quarry Mine

April 30, 2019


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Proposed Quarry Mine is Not a Job Creator!

April 30, 2019


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North Cascades Institute Opposes Quarry Mine

April 29, 2019


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Proposed Marblemount Mine Site Cannot Be Permitted Without Comprehensive Plan Revision

April 27, 2019


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Dr. Jon Riedel on the Proposed Quarry Mine

April 19, 2019


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Seattle City Light Sees Significant Adverse Environmental Effects of Proposed Quarry Mine

April 26, 2019


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Letter by Claire McIlvain Against Quarry Application

April 14, 2019


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Marblemount Permit Application: Kiewit’s Use of the Term “Expansion” is Misleading

April 16, 2019


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Christie Fairchild on the Proposed Marblemount Quarry Mine

April 4, 2019


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Speaking Out Against Destroying Our Valley Home

April 2, 2019


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Kathy Young’s Letter to Skagit County Opposing Quarry Mine

March 31, 2019


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Skagit River System Cooperative’s Letter Requesting Extension of Public Comment Period and Environmental Impact Statement

April 1, 2019


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Kiewit’s proposed mining activities are expressly prohibited by Skagit County zoning

April 14, 2019


read more

Upper Skagit Indian Tribe Letter Opposing Marblemount Quarry

March 25, 2019


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Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Letter Requesting Extended Comment Period and Environmental Impact Statement

March 31, 2019


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Proposed Marblemount Quarry Mine Would Be a Catastrophe!

March 16, 2019


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Strong Opposition Rising Against Marblemount Quarry Project Application

March 25, 2019


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American Rivers’ Letter Asking for an Environmental Impact Statement for Quarry Mine

March 16, 2019


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Vancouver, WA, Company Trying to Leverage Old Gravel Pit Permit to Blow Up Mountain

March 16, 2019


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Full Scoped Environmental Impact Study Expected

Aug. 12, 2019


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Joint Letter Opposing Quarry Mine

May 15, 2019


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“This is a terrible idea for many reasons”

May 4, 2019


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Skagit Audubon Society Opposes Quarry

March 30, 2019


read more

Proposed Marblemount Quarry Mine is Surrounded by Homes

April 1, 2019


read more

Help anyway you can

Please email us with questions or comments: [email protected]

Contact

Please email us with questions or comments: [email protected]