Blasting not good for homeowners

I live in Snoqualmie, 500 feet from the Snoqualmie Sand and Gravel

Pit, operated by Glacier Northwest (formerly known as Lone Star

Northwest). The land that the pit operates on is owned by the Weyerhaeuser

Company. The King County Regional Trail runs along one side of the pit,

and Tokul Creek, which is home to rainbow, cutthroat and Eastern

Brook trout, and winter/summer steelhead, fall chinook and coho salmon,

borders another. I just received from the King County Department of

Development and Environmental Services notice of application for this operation to

begin hard-rock mining in addition to its sand and gravel production. A

public hearing for this "revision" is not

required. This operation has never been required to submit an

Environmental Impact Statement.

Currently, I can hear all the operations from the pit at my home. The

pit is located over the fluctuating Tokul Creek Delta Aquifer, which

supplies this community with water. Less than two years ago, the same type of

operation, run by the Cadman Company, damaged an aquifer in Monroe and

left that community "dry." The dynamite blasts (registering 3.5 on a

Richter Scale according to a consulted geologist) and resultant vibration,

according to the company's checklist, "has a near-zero probability" of damaging

a structure built according to UBC (Uniform Building Codes). The

majority of the homes in this community were built pre-UBC. My own home

was built in 1920.

Reviewing this permit is the Department of Development and

Environmental Services. Developer permits pay for 100 percent of its

operation. In a report prepared by Public Employees for Environmental

Policy, an agency formed to protect public employees who blow the whistle

on wrongdoing at work, DDES had a rating that was "alarming." PEER

conducted its survey after being contacted by a department employee. Of the

127 responses, 14 percent were from managers, and 86 percent were from

rank-and-file. In the survey, 62 percent think the department caters to

developers and permit seekers as the primary customer, putting them ahead

of residents' wishes and protection of the environment.

Glacier Northwest is owned by a multimillion dollar,

Japanese-owned concrete company, whose stock is traded on the Japanese stock

market. This company's business is to mine and sell rock. This foreign

company has one obligation, and that is to its shareholders.

My property taxes have more than doubled in the 10 years that I

have lived here and will continue to climb at that rate. Yet if the mining

operation is approved, the marketability of my home and property will be zero.

If there is anyone that thinks otherwise, hey, I have a beautiful home I

would like to sell you.

Because of the Weyerhaeuser Company and Glacier Northwest,

my American dream has turned into a nightmare.

Diane Brace


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