Duvall Mine's EIS scoping hearing draws large crowd

About 30 Duvall residents testified in front of more than 200 people about how the proposed Duvall

Mine would affect them at the Environmental Impact Statement scoping hearing on Monday.

Many of the testifiers spoke of the negative impacts a business of that nature would have on the

community, including dust, traffic and the destruction of their rural lifestyle.

King County commissioned Huckell/Weinman Associates, an environmental consulting firm, to

conduct the Environmental Impact Statement on the Duvall Mine. The first step of the process was to collect

community input on what topics should be addressed in the study.

County officials estimate that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement should be available for

public review by this fall. Residents and other agencies would have 45 days to comment on the material before the

final EIS is released, probably early next year.

Several people at the scoping hearing questioned why Seattle General Corporation, the owners of the

Duvall Mine, have been able to advance their application this far. Residents say that the proposed 82-acre mine

would destroy the site's ecosystem which includes a waterfall that bisects the property.

"Once the pristine area is lost and disturbed, it's gone forever, even if we try to reclaim it," said

Carnation resident Patti Atkins. "Let's not be stupid for the almighty dollar."

Frustrations were also vented about how area homeowners do everything they can to preserve the

wetlands on their lots while the Duvall Mine would possibly be able to destroy the areas on its property.

"How is it that we can't raise the road on 124th, [and they can] destroy a waterfall and complete

ecosystem," commented Shelly Bos of the county's decision not to elevate the road leading to the Novelty Bridge because

of its proximity to the Snoqualmie River.

More importantly, community members were fearful of what the future of Duvall would look like if

the quarry were permitted. Residents urged King County _ who will make the final decision on the permit _

to protect the people that they serve.

"What is being a good neighbor? My responsibility goes a long ways into the future," said 29-year

resident Roy Eaton. "I have to protect the children who will fill this gym [at Cherry Valley Elementary] three and

four generations later."

And by the time the Duvall Mine closes operations in about 60 years, Riverview School District

teacher Kate Brougham said she was skeptical that the proponents would still follow through on their reclamation

plans to construct a recreation area on the mine's site.

"Most of us will be dead and gone … who will hold them accountable to build these wonderful fields

they promised," she asked.

The comment period on what should be included in the EIS ended earlier this week.

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