"King County is conducting a review of Northwest Aggregate's (aka Lone Star) proposal to update its existing Surface Mining Reclamation Permit and Grading Permit for their sand and gravel mining on Maury Island. The existing site is approximately 235 acres and is located in portions of sections 28 and 29, Township 22 north and Range 3 east, on the eastern edge of Maury Island along Admiralty Inlet.
This is how the King County Department of Development formally describes Lone Star's intention to mine 7.5 million tons of gravel a year, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for a duration somewhere between 11 to 35 years, from their inactive gravel mine on Maury Island: it's going to be an update to an existing grading permit, despite the fact that no real activity of any large scale has taken place there for 20 years.
This gravel is to be barged from Maury Island by 4 10,000-ton barge trips daily, or more smaller barges, 7 days a week, to some as-yet undisclosed location where it will be off-loaded and trucked up to SeaTac Airport to be used as fill for the third runway...
The King County Department of Development and Environmental Services has published the draft Environmental Impact Statement, essentially saying the project will cause no significant environmental impacts!
Surprising? No: the draft EIS was written by Lone Star consultants, and rubber-stamped by DDES, despite the presence of such trivial issues as:
Hmm.. this is going to be accomplished by a hermetically-sealed berm up to 30 feet high and 2,100 feet long!
Can you say "toxic waste dump"?
And right here on little ol' Maury Island, too!
Good: certainly no water's gonna leak through fifteen feet of gravel!
which a lot of people find pretty surprising; but just in case:"...tugboats would typically be aligned to the barge during loading, with the propeller wash oriented parallel to or away from shore at a depth where eelgrass does not grow."
which is cool, because we all know there isn't any eelgrass there, anyway!
Basically, DDES never met a big-bucks project it didn't like, and the rich and the powerful always get what they want from DDES -- all in the name of Customer Service!
So we've got a problem -- the noise from a busy airport in a densely-populated urban area -- and the Port of Seattle and DDES and Lone Star are going to make it worse by digging a big chunk out of Maury Island and building a third runway at SeaTac airport, and then after the noise problem's worse, your tax dollars will get to remedy that, too!
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