Mining operation battle continues

NORTH BEND - Despite a recent legal decision against a key issue in its opposition against a Cadman, Inc. mining operation near Grouse Ridge, opponents of the project say they are still hopeful they will prevail, stating that the latest action might even favor their cause.

After five years of conference room and courtroom battles, Cadman officials say they are confident that the project, which has already begun mitigation work near its Edgewick Road location, will be approved and in full operation when the legal wrangling is complete.

The Cadman mining project would find the company harvesting gravel from a site on Grouse Ridge and transporting it to a lower site off Edgewick Road via a mile-long conveyor belt to be processed.

The Cascade Gateway Foundation has opposed the mining project's two-site makeup since its inception, claiming that the project should utilize only the upper site, off Exit 38, as the lower portion will bring too many truck trips - estimated at 900 daily according to King County documents - to an already busy North Bend area. The group also has cited environmental concerns.

In March King County issued Cadman Inc. a grading permit to begin a 25-year project located on Weyerhaeuser Co. land between Interstate 90 exits 34 and 38. The decision prompted the Cascade Gateway Foundation opposition group to file an appeal under the Land Use Petition Act. The foundation claimed that the permit should not have been issued because under King County law, separate permits are required for each of the two sites. Since the mine has an upper and lower site, the foundation appeal claimed, Cadman needed two permits to begin work, not only the one issued.

Earlier this month Judge Douglas McBroom denied a Cascade Gateway Foundation motion to render the current permit invalid because it is two sites.

For the complete story, pick up a copy of this week's Valley Record

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