News

Glacier says blasting to have little impact

SNOQUALMIE — Residents packed Snoqualmie City Hall on


Monday to hear Glacier Northwest's presentation on how the addition of


hard-rock blasting to its Snoqualmie gravel pit location will affect the Valley.


Glacier Northwest, which owns the 270-acre Snoqualmie Sand


and Gravel operation near the Weyerhaeuser mill in


Snoqualmie, gave the presentation to inform council members of the company's


plans to mine 25 million tons of hard rock from the site.


The presentation's purpose was only to inform council members


of Glacier Northwest's intentions, since King County is responsible for


the unincorporated area where the pit exists. The City Council will submit


its comments on the project based on the information and additional research.


"We're not here to take any (public) comment on this issue as a


city; we're here just to listen so we can have a better understanding of what's


going on so we can form some kind of opinion on our own,"


Snoqualmie Mayor Randy "Fuzzy" Fletcher said.


The company, formerly known as Lone Star, has applied to expand


daily operating hours and extend the life of the project, originally slated to


end within a few years, to the year 2050 or beyond. An environmental


checklist is currently under review by the county.


Glacier representative Ron Summers said each blast is monitored,


and if done correctly, will produce little sound or dust for the Valley.


"It's a very scientifically designed and controlled process," he said.


"We've done a number of studies, had a number of experts look at it


and prepare what we call an environmental checklist," he added,


explaining that it's an expanded checklist that is more thorough than checklists done


at other sites.


Summers said upon neighbors' requests, Glacier will contact


nearby homeowners prior to each blast. The company plans to begin blasting


once a week, but could increase to three times a week as time goes on and


the demand for larger rock rises.


Council members did have questions of their own upon hearing


the presentation. Councilwoman Colleen Johnson questioned Glacier


representatives about the cumulative effect of blasting on the area's aquifers.


"In my mind, that's what wears on the environment," she said. "My


concern is what impact over a 50-year period (this causes) to wells."


Other council members were concerned with how blasting could


affect wells and soil and impact traffic on State Route 202. The session was


only one hour long and the council will study the proposal further.


Summers said company representatives are willing to work with


residents and the city any way they can to explain the operation, give


warnings when blasting and measure wells prior to blasting.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Nov 26
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.