Letters to the Editor

Mining poses many threats

We are writing to express our deep concern regarding the application that has been submitted by Krieg Construction to extract approximately 693,000 cubic yards of sand and gravel from the south side of Sawmill Road, east of Taylor Road.

We live in Dugualla Bay Heights in a home we have owned for more than 25 years. Our home is located less than 1,000 feet from the proposed gravel mine. We are served by a community water system that draws from a single source aquifer that lies underneath the proposed mine. We feel that there is a very strong probability that the aquifer will be adversely affected by this mine. This could occur as a result of the excavation process, through contamination by fuel or hydraulic spills from trucks and mining equipment, by the use of contaminated reclamation materials, or as a result of illegal dumping. Illegal dumping is already a serious problem along Taylor Road in the immediate vicinity of the proposed mine.

The disruption or contamination of our community water system would be catastrophic, since there is no other readily available source of water. At present, this would affect approximately 200 families. As the remaining lots in the community are sold and developed, this could increase to 256 families. Additionally, the Dugualla Community, Inc. water system represents a very sizable capital investment for community residents, one that continues to increase in value as scheduled improvements are incorporated. The loss of this investment would financially devastate the community.

We are also concerned about having a heavy industrial operation in such close proximity to a residential neighborhood. The noise and air pollution resulting from mining operations and the increased truck traffic will likely have a very negative affect on property values.

Our home is our principal source of financial security, and it would seriously impact our family’s financial future if its value and future marketability were degraded.

In summary, we do not feel that the possible economic benefit of the proposed mine offsets the considerable risk to the health, safety, and financial security of ourselves and the hundreds of other families who reside nearby. We most strongly request that this application be denied.

William and Melody Dwinelle live in Oak Harbor.

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