Thank you for your informative May 30 article about local mining proposals.
We have been following the proposed gravel mine northwest of Sedro-Woolley near Grip Road since it was proposed over five years ago.
The article reports that there are now 15 recommended conditions on that permit, but at least 10 of these conditions simply state that the applicant must comply with existing laws and regulations.
The proposed mitigation falls far short of protecting public safety from increased truck traffic. This is despite hundreds of letters over the years from concerned residents.
We have repeatedly asked the county, to no avail, to evaluate the maximum amount of daily truck traffic that would be generated by the mine, not the stated average of 46 trips per day. The demand for sand and gravel is seasonal, so "average" in this usage is meaningless.
We know everyone needs gravel, but at what cost?
The proposed Grip Road mine is simply out of scale with its location. This would be a 60-acre open pit mine located next to sensitive habitat on the Samish River in an area where no industrial scale mining has ever occurred.
The material must be hauled, not on major arterials, but on narrow, steep, winding substandard rural roads.
After countless hours reviewing documents, raising money, asking questions and writing letters, we are still unsure where this permit is going.
And the question is not really will the roads be safe, but how unsafe will they be with this additional truck traffic.
Community members should not have to spend hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars on their own experts to get public officials to listen and to apply common sense regulation.