Skagit County Hearing Examiner, Alex Sidles, presided over the June 28th public hearing on the Lake Erie Gravel Mine expansion proposal, PL16-0556. The specific topic was the hydrogeological information the county required of the applicant following public concerns over the potential risk of slope failure. The room was packed. Public and expert witnesses commented over several hours. The Hearing Examiner concluded he would take all the public and expert comments and reports into consideration. A decision is expected in a few weeks.
The applicant has not provided any new information in response to Skagit County’s direction. On March 23, 2021, in response to the Skagit County Commissioners’ decision, Skagit County Planning and Development Services directed the applicant to address three specific issues:
- Analyze the landslide risk arising from the potential for increased groundwater migration to the west/northwest of the mine due to the mine expansion and attendant removal of soil and vegetation.
- Analyze the presence of springs on the coastal bluffs to the northwest, downgrading of the mine.
- Respond to the testimony of the professional geologist who identified that the proposed mine expansion will create and increased landslide risk.
Evergreen Islands maintains that the proposed mine expansion project must be denied until the applicant provides the information required by the county.