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

Update April 16, 2021:

Skagit River Alliance has been actively involved in learning what details we can regarding the proposed mining operation. Much information is being withheld and DNR is still taking the lead instead of Skagit County.

It seems our time may be running short.

Please write or call the people in the following list and insist that Skagit County take the lead in the mining review and permitting process.

We need to make some noise!

-Hal Hart, Director of Skagit County Planning and Development, 360-416-1328 direct, 360-416-1320 main desk, [email protected]

-Hillary Franz, Commissioner of Public Lands: [email protected]
-Ana Shafer, Assistant State Geologist, Assistant Director of Surface Mine Reclamation, 253-569-2307
-Rian Skov, chief reclamation geologist, 360.704.0963, [email protected]
-Joe Smillie, communications manager, cell 360.688.3392, [email protected]
-Responsible Official: Casey R. Hanell, State Geologist and Director, 1111 Washington St. SE, Olympia, WA 98504, 360-902-1439, [email protected]

Background:

Skagit River Alliance reports that the Cascade Big Bear Mine environmental review and permitting process is currently being handled by Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) without any review, consultation, or input from Skagit County. This proposed huge mining operation is planned to be conducted by international corporation Martin Marietta (NYSE MLM) for the extraction and barging of jetty stone boulders for coastal armoring projects. This operation would have most, if not all, of the significant environmental impacts as the previous Kiewit proposal for which Skagit County intended to make a SEPA Determination of Significance and require a full Environmental Impact Study (EIS).

In accordance with SEPA regulations a local agency with jurisdiction, in this case Skagit County, is required to be the SEPA lead agency. Skagit River Alliance has raised this issue with Skagit County Planning and Development Services (SPDS) and is awaiting a response. The Mt. Baker Group of the Washington State Chapter Sierra Club (MBG) has also objected to DNR as the lead agency, recently reminding SPDS that under Washington SEPA regulations, private applicants fall under the permitting jurisdiction of local government, and that county rights should not be subverted by state agencies, especially when Skagit County has previously been involved in permitting the exact same site for very similar proposed mining operations. MBG asked that SPDS: (1) advise DNR of its error so that DNR can back away; (2) assume responsibility for the permitting of this significant project; and (3) require an EIS for the mine, as SPDS did for the Kiewit quarry proposal.

Concern for impacts to migratory birds and threatened and endangered species, the duration of the proposed mine, and uncertainty of the consequences to downstream water quality were cited by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) in its letter asking DNR to make a Determination of Significance on this project and to require an EIS to ensure a proper evaluation of the short and long term environmental impacts of this project. WDFW does not feel the current level of environmental review has enough information for making a threshold determination for a project with such a prolonged duration on the landscape.

Another concern is that the application included an SM-6 land verification form, signed by a previous SPDS director in 2006. SPDS has confirmed that DNR provided this old form to SPDS only to correct a small property elevation error. Skagit River Alliance’s review of available permit application materials and other materials obtained through Public Document Requests indicates that DNR provided SPDS with no other project plans, summaries, details, or other operational information that could have allowed SPDS to confirm the applicability of the 2006 SM-6 which in turn refers to the "pre-existing" zoning and land-use approval (1976 conditional use permit), for this new permit application.
All of the tribal nations in Skagit County have written letters to DNR expressing serious concerns with this application and DNR’s handling of it and have requested a full EIS. The Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe addressed their letter of “grave concern” to Governor Inslee and is awaiting a direct consultation meeting with the state.

New Comments and Articles

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

Nov. 13, 2020


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

Nov. 13, 2020


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Comment From Kate and Larry Stram

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


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

July 22, 2019


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

June 12, 2019


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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


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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


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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


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Proposed Marblemount Quarry Mine is Surrounded by Homes

April 1, 2019


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Help anyway you can

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

Contact

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