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You spoke up, Skagit County heard: Polluting North Cascades mining project halted!

posted Jul 10, 2019, 4:47 PM by Simon Bakke   [ updated Sep 11, 2019, 2:01 PM ]
 by Kirsten McDade, Pollution Prevention Specialist

UPDATE (9/9/2019):
Kiewit Corp has pulled out of the project once and for all — meaning this dangerous proposal is no longer on the table! Thank you for speaking up. It made all the difference.

When a massive rock mining project reared its head, hundreds of people like you responded to the call and pointed out the huge costs to water quality, wildlife habitat, and a community of hundreds living near the North Cascades. Skagit County heard you, and has paused the project and required the mining company to review its impacts. The company dropped the project altogether as a result.



Can you imagine 140 massive trucks transporting huge boulders down Highway 20 from the gateway of North Cascades National Park each and every day? That means noise and air pollution, more congestion on already-dangerous roads, and toxic materials from brake pads and tires that would easily make their way into the scenic Skagit River - our last stronghold for Chinook salmon recovery in Washington State. 

Can you imagine what the members of the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe felt when they heard that their traditional, treaty-guaranteed hunting and fishing grounds were in jeopardy?

Can you imagine the impacts that a large rock quarry would have on wildlife that call this area home? The ground vibrations, loud machinery, and large-scale earth removal would disturb the habitats of the wolverine, grizzly bear, marbled murrelet, northern spotted owl, peregrine falcon, bull trout, Oregon spotted frog, and many more. All this rock crushing and moving would happen 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, right within a rural community nestled in the serenity of the North Cascades. 

We couldn’t imagine this either when we first heard about an industrial-scale rock quarry mine near Marblemount proposed by Kiewit Corporation. So we joined forces with several other environmental organizations and hundreds of concerned citizens to urge Skagit County really look into the impacts of this ill-conceived project. We did our research and wrote letters to the Skagit County Planning & Development Services. And so did you - over a thousand pages of comments were sent in opposition to this mine, including many RE Sources supporters! Our voices were heard and the permit for the quarry has been denied… at least for now. 

If Kiewet wants to pursue their massive rock quarry in this sensitive area they will be required to complete a full scope Environmental Impact Statement, which is a lengthy and expensive endeavor for the corporation. In the meantime, we will continue to follow this project and keep fighting threats to clean air and water, peaceful homes, wildlife habit, and tribal treaty rights. 

Thank you for helping make this victory possible!