GuruBani Whitney’s Letter Opposing Quarry Mine

GuruBani Whitney’s Letter Opposing Quarry Mine

GuruBani Whitney of Rockport wrote this excellent letter of opposition to the proposed quarry mine near Marblemount. It shows keen sensitivity to the impacts of a noisy, unsafe and filthy quarry mine on sensitive people and wildlife in our area, and it emphasizes how profoundly incompatible and inapprorpiate such a development would be. Thank you, GurBani for letting us share your letter!

“I am writing in opposition to the proposed Marblemount Quarry (PL-19-0033). I am a Mother, Therapist, Homesteader, Business Owner and Environmental Steward in the upper Skagit Valley.

There are many reasons why the Marblemount Quarry would be detrimental to the Upper Skagit RiverCommunity and Corridor. below, I have addressed some of my concerns with this proposal.

…the peace of the upper Skagit region is what draws people to this area.

The upper Skagit Valley is a quiet community that provides locals and visitors a place to retreat into nature andto get away from the chaos and sounds of the city. Home to many protected and endangered animals, military veterans, families, and homesteaders, the peace of the upper Skagit region is what draws people to this area.

Sadly, with the proposal for the Marblemount Quarry, these precious assets will cease to exist.

Those who live in this community and those who enjoy visiting here, choose to do so because of the beauty, calm, and connection that this pristine environment and delicate ecosystem offers. It connects us to a simpler time in our history, one where people worked together with their community, cherished time with their family, and connected to the natural environment around them. Sadly, with the proposal for the Marblemount Quarry, these precious assets will cease to exist.

Veterans and those in the community with PTSD, as well as sensitive pets, would be in constant distress due to the extreme increase in Noise Pollution…

With the constant sound of generators running around the clock, large trucks driving to/from the quarry, and the intense sound and vibrations caused by the blasting of the rock, our wildlife population would decrease, and our lifestyles would be greatly affected. Veterans and those in the community with PTSD, as well as sensitive pets, would be in constant distress due to the extreme increase in Noise Pollution; local businesses would be affected as well. Vacation rentals would see a decrease in visitors, affecting the already limited opportunities for locals to generate income, if the area’s peaceful environment was no more. For instance, on Rockport Cascade Road, there is a retreat for wounded warriors, visitors will not be able to retreat to reduce their stress and trauma with sounds and vibrations caused by quarry blasting, and large trucks driving by all day.

It is well known that Quarries pose a high risk of contamination to groundwater resources.

It is well known that Quarries pose a high risk of contamination to groundwater resources. Pollution of the waterways would decrease the quality of the drinking water for residents, as most of this area is utilizing well water; with no hope for building new well systems, due to the already in place well moratorium by the Swinomish Tribe. In addition, the natural resources for wildlife, in this area and down river, would be affected; including the Salmon population. This river corridor is a wild and scenic area that has tribal communities overseeing the Salmon population, contaminated riverways and groundwater would severely affect their habitat.

Each aspect of this quarry will diminish the quality of life for the residents, both human and wildlife of this area.

Many people in this community have chosen to live here to be away from pollutants that affect their health and well-being. Even within permissible limits, the Air Quality would be greatly affected, due to the creation of airborne dust caused from the blasting. Each aspect of this quarry will diminish the quality of life for the residents, both human and wildlife of this area.

The increase in traffic, on Rockport Cascade and highways 530 and 20, would create safety concerns for our children.

Families raising children upriver chose the upper Skagit, for the beauty, peace and as a safe haven for their loved ones. Our desire was to offer our children the opportunity to have a natural childhood. One where they can connect with nature, explore the beauty of the area, have clean air and water, and ride the bikes on quiet country roads. The quarry would take this away and more. The increase in traffic, on Rockport Cascade and highways 530 and 20, would create safety concerns for our children. Whether it be when they are out playing or when commuting to school, groceries, etc., the increased traffic of large trucks pose a safety concern. Side roads will see an increase in traffic posing harm to those riding their bikes, walking to neighbors and riding horses.

Many children in the area ride the bus to and from school for over an hour each way, the buses would have to navigate around the trucks and there is an immense amount of danger to the children who are crossing the highway in dark hours.

Many cars will choose to detour through these quiet side roads in order to bypass the trucks hauling material, decreasing the safety and quality of life for those in the community. With commuting, the Hwys are winding and narrow and dangerous enough without the increase of large vehicles that are difficult to see around, have debris falling off, and are moving a large degree of mass at high speeds. Many children in the area ride the bus to and from school for over an hour each way, the buses would have to navigate around the trucks and there is an immense amount of danger to the children who are crossing the highway in dark hours. Those who commute their children to school or when going to work will have to follow behind trucks causing limited visibility and the potential hazard of debris falling off which causes an increase in accidents. We do not need to create further safety concerns on these highways than is already present with logging trucks, buses, recreational vehicles, and cars driving up and down the valley.

Please help keep the Upper Skagit corridor Wild, Scenic, Safe, and Healthy.

Considering the health, well-being and safety of the residents and visitors of the Upper Skagit community, and the grave environmental impact this quarry proposal will have, I ask that you please consider the larger impact that is at stake. Please help keep the Upper Skagit corridor Wild, Scenic, Safe, and Healthy.

Thank you for your consideration,

GuruBani Whitney

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1 Comment

  • Andrea Weiser
    May 11, 2019, 3:48 am

    Great letter, GuruBani!

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