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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]
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
Marblemount Quarry Permit Review Assumed by DNR, not Skagit County, Sparks OutcryFeb. 26, 2021
WA Dept of Fish and Wildlife explains why an EIS should be requiredNov. 15, 2020
Opposition from Mount Baker Group of the Washington State Chapter of the Sierra ClubNov. 13, 2020
Swinomish Tribal Community says "no permit should issue without a complete and thorough EIS."Nov. 13, 2020
Comment From Kate and Larry StramNov. 13, 2020
Letter in Support from Local Conservation GroupsNov. 12, 2020
Urgent! New Mining Proposed near MarblemountNov. 5, 2020
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 PermitMay 14, 2019
Skagit Land Trust Requests “Threshold Determination of Significance” and a Full Environmental Impact StatementMay 25, 2019
Skagit Audubon Society: An Environmental Impact Statement Should be RequiredAug. 10, 2019
Anything Short of a Full Study of These Impacts Would Undermine SEPA’s PurposeJuly 22, 2019
The Swinomish Tribe’s Response to a Dismissive Letter to Skagit County From Kiewit’s AttorneysJuly 22, 2019
Skagit River Alliance Letter to U. S. Senators Cantrell and Murray, U. S. Reps Larson, Kilmer, Jayapal, Schrier, Smith and HeckJune 12, 2019
Big Turnout for “Let the River Sing” Fundraiser by Skagit River AllianceAug. 12, 2019
No Place to Blow Up a Mountain!May 22, 2019
Mount Baker Group of the WA State Chapter of the Sierra Club Opposes Permitting Quarry MineMay 13, 2019
Andrea Weiser’s Op-Ed in Cascadia WeeklyMay 9, 2019
Blasting Bear Mountain Will Release Hazardous AsbestosMay 12, 2019
RE Sources for Sustainable Communities Sees Many Damaging Impacts of Quarry MineMay 5, 2019
GuruBani Whitney’s Letter Opposing Quarry MineMay 9, 2019
Letter from Andrea L. Weiser Opposing Quarry Mine in MarblemountMay 15, 2019
Join Mark and Joan in Urging Your Outdoor Recreation Organization to Oppose Quarry MineMay 6, 2019
Kiewit’s proposed mining activities are expressly prohibited by Skagit County zoningJuly 15, 2019
The Way It Really IsMay 4, 2019
Robert R. Mierendorf Says No to Proposed Quarry MineApril 30, 2019
Proposed Quarry Mine is Not a Job Creator!April 30, 2019
North Cascades Institute Opposes Quarry MineApril 29, 2019
Proposed Marblemount Mine Site Cannot Be Permitted Without Comprehensive Plan RevisionApril 27, 2019
Dr. Jon Riedel on the Proposed Quarry MineApril 19, 2019
Seattle City Light Sees Significant Adverse Environmental Effects of Proposed Quarry MineApril 26, 2019
Letter by Claire McIlvain Against Quarry ApplicationApril 14, 2019
Marblemount Permit Application: Kiewit’s Use of the Term “Expansion” is MisleadingApril 16, 2019
Christie Fairchild on the Proposed Marblemount Quarry MineApril 4, 2019
Speaking Out Against Destroying Our Valley HomeApril 2, 2019
Kathy Young’s Letter to Skagit County Opposing Quarry MineMarch 31, 2019
Skagit River System Cooperative’s Letter Requesting Extension of Public Comment Period and Environmental Impact StatementApril 1, 2019
Kiewit’s proposed mining activities are expressly prohibited by Skagit County zoningApril 14, 2019
Upper Skagit Indian Tribe Letter Opposing Marblemount QuarryMarch 25, 2019
Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Letter Requesting Extended Comment Period and Environmental Impact StatementMarch 31, 2019
Proposed Marblemount Quarry Mine Would Be a Catastrophe!March 16, 2019
Strong Opposition Rising Against Marblemount Quarry Project ApplicationMarch 25, 2019
American Rivers’ Letter Asking for an Environmental Impact Statement for Quarry MineMarch 16, 2019
Vancouver, WA, Company Trying to Leverage Old Gravel Pit Permit to Blow Up MountainMarch 16, 2019
Full Scoped Environmental Impact Study ExpectedAug. 12, 2019
Joint Letter Opposing Quarry MineMay 15, 2019
“This is a terrible idea for many reasons”May 4, 2019
Skagit Audubon Society Opposes QuarryMarch 30, 2019
Proposed Marblemount Quarry Mine is Surrounded by HomesApril 1, 2019
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