Community members will meet with the County Hearing Examiner via WebEx to discuss environmental and health risks associated with expansion plans
A hearing will be held via WebEx meeting with the Clark County Hearing Examiner on Thu., April 28 at 6 p.m. This is an opportunity for citizens to voice concerns about Yacolt Mountain Quarry’s (YMQ) application to expand the current 83-acre quarry with an additional 110 acres.
The meeting’s focus will be the potentially harmful environmental and health impacts on the community from the proposed expansion. Residents can share testimonials about how current quarry operations have affected their lives.
“It is appalling that citizens have to work so hard to get the government to do its job and to get a company to follow the law,” said Dick Leeuwenburg, East Fork Community Coalition (EFCC) president, commenting on the absence of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and YMQ’s continued non-compliance with the existing Conditional Use Permit (CUP).
COVID protocols during the past two years have delayed this long-awaited hearing. Now that it is finally happening, EFCC and concerned residents will ask the Hearing Examiner to reject YMQ’s application until a full EIS is completed (as recommended by the Washington State Environmental Policy Act – SEPA) and Clark County enforces compliance to its CUP. Residents will testify about the impact of the current quarry, which they believe YMQ’s expansion will exacerbate.
Tenuous ecological issues, such as landslide potential above Lucia Falls Park, homes, and the East Fork Lewis River, as well as run off into the river that threatens endangered species of salmon and steelhead, are key among the complaints. Beyond that are health concerns. EFCC’s research shows long-term health hazards posed by quarry activities that generate noise, dust, and endanger groundwater. A more immediate danger that residents will discuss are the 30 double gravel trucks allowed (each way) hourly, some in excess of 50 tons. These traverse the steep and windy roads of the area posing a danger to recreationists, residents, and school buses.
“I have never witnessed such a terrible situation as to what this Rock Mine has done to the area … It is abundantly clear that environment and water safety are overlooked. At this point, I think about moving from this area daily. What I once called home no longer feels that way,” said one lifetime Clark County resident.
Citizens are encouraged to submit written testimony via email: Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org Attn: Hearing Examiner for PSR-2020-00223; WHR-2021-00019 (include your mailing address). Those who can attend, particularly those who can share personal experiences about the impact of the quarry, should contact county staff by noon on April 28: email@example.com (preferred) or (564) 397-4489 (include an accurate mailing address). Staff will provide participants with information about testifying.
This notice contains more information about the hearing.
The East Fork Community Coalition (EFCC) is dedicated to protecting the East Fork of the Lewis River as well as homes and families. EFCC members do this by sharing information and communicating concerns about issues facing the area. Follow along to see how you can get involved, join the mission, and share this information with others. Visit the EFCC website to learn more.