Permit Denied for Lake Erie Gravel Mine Expansion

current project

On May 22, 2024, the Skagit County Hearing Examiner denied the special use permit application to expand the Lake Erie Gravel Mine on Fidalgo Island from 17.78 acres to 53.5 acres. This followed a lengthy hearing earlier in May when 3 different geologists provided testimony regarding which direction the groundwater might flow. The decision to deny the permit centered on the second remand by the Skagit County Board of Commissioners which required a study on the hydrogeology, specifically related to water flow to the northwest corner of the property and an assessment of the coastal bluff erosion. Nearby residents feared the mine expansion may cause increased erosion and the risk of a large landslide. Evergreen Island’s attorney, Kyle Loring, provided testimony maintaining that the applicant failed to meet the requirements set forth by the Board of Commissioners in their remand. Evergreen Island’s consultant, geologist Dan McShane, provided testimony on groundwater filtration, soil and substrate porosity, gradient, coastal bluff erosion and more. If approved this mine expansion would have resulted in the removal of over 30 acres of vegetation and the excavation and removal of approximately 3.6 million tons of material over 60 years. Approximately 60 people attended the hearing (25 in the hearing room and 35 online).

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