A couple of months ago I was contacted to see if I would be willing to help on opposing a quarry expansion on Lummi Island. I agreed to help, but thus far there has not been a lot for me to do. I did some minor reviewing. The anti quarry group put together a very impressive video on the quarry (see below). Often, hyperbole and hysteria can take over on an environmental issue. But in this case there is no single issue presented in this video that I disagree with and nor would I describe any of it as hyperbole or hysteria. (And some enviros that I have not hesitated using those terms).
The video is factual and accurate. And as someone that works on mine projects, it upsets me that a mining operation in a sensitive area like this has done such a horrible job and that the regulation of this mine has been such a failure.
On a purely technical basis there are many reasons that the mine area designation should not be expanded. But even though this blog attempts (and sometimes it is hard) to be neutral in presentation of issues, I will suggest another reason this mine expansion should be denied: Justice. This mine was granted an expanded mining area in the late 1990s. They could have manged the mine in an appropriate manner and followed water quality laws, water rights, and mine reclamation plans. They did not. They do not deserve even consideration for expansion. They are a black mark on the aggregate mining industry of which I have often been a participant during my geology career.
The above said, the process will proceed. A specific issue of environmental review is the most pressing at the moment. I'll probably get around to posting something on that at a future date and a review of how various counties have dealt designating and protecting mining resource lands for mining purposes.