East Fork Community Coalition

East Fork Community Coalition

A growing group of concerned local citizens dedicated to protecting the East Fork Lewis River, it's valley, our homes, and our families.

06/02/2023

Feb 6, 2023. The new law requiring that these trucks be tarped started July 2022. Is anyone seeing tarps covering loads on these gravel trucks?

01/12/2022

Does anyone have more information on this accident on Gabriel Rd Tuesday? Please post or email [email protected]. Thanks.

Photos from East Fork Community Coalition's post 05/11/2022

One Comment on the same FB page: "I wonder if it was the same gravel truck I was behind yesterday morning coming down! His back end was fishtailing SO BAD it was terrifying!! And he just kept going faster. Several times it swayed into the other lane or the edge. Like how he didn’t notice it crazy! It was that bad. There are so many 2 trailer gravel trucks going up & down right now. Flying on these roads, the guy I was behind from Yacolt all the way into BG he kept cutting corners. I was going 50ish down garner to 503 and he was a decent distance in front. Swaying away 😬"

When the Hard Work Begins: A Columbia Gorge story 05/08/2022

Another rock mine in Clark County has many of the same issues we are experiencing in the north part of the same county. Especially, the lack of enforcement.

When the Hard Work Begins: A Columbia Gorge story What happens when, after decades of inactivity, a gravel mine suddenly springs to life—potentially endangering nearby residents and local, sensitive salmon r...

13/06/2022

Act NOW! Send One Final Email before deadline Thurs, June 15th at 5pm.

Here is an excellent example of a simplified comment sent by one of our supporters (in bold). Feel free to use it. Even if you have sent in comments already. This is a new question the Hearing Examiner is asking of the public.

Dear Hearing Examiner for YMQ Expansion:

My name is # # # and I am a Clark County resident. I am writing to you in answer to your request for CUP condition suggestions for YMQ .

I strongly support the original Exhibit # 168 and addendum, Ex # 185 from East Fork Community Coalition (EFCC).

To be enforceable, there needs to be only one CUP for the entire quarry.

For example: It is especially important to keep F/P1 in the Conditional Use Permit (CUP). I’m outraged that the Applicant and the County would consider pulling it from the original CUP instead of enforcing it. This is a SEPA mitigation condition that has been in violation for years.

Clark County needs to enforce ALL conditions of its mining permits. The applicant's refusal to comply with the current CUP should not allow them an Expansion.
Sincerely,
Name
Mailing or Physical Address

Email "Attn: Hearing Examiner YMQ Expansion". At these addresses, [email protected] and [email protected] AND [email protected] BEFORE Thursday, June 16th at 5pm.

County begins hearing on Yacolt mine expansion 10/05/2022

https://www.thereflector.com/stories/county-begins-hearing-on-yacolt-mine-expansion,290484

Last chance to write in. The decision will affect our lives for decades to come. Brief instructions in post preceding this one.

Many emailed testimonials are receiving autoreplies from the county such as "denied", "blocked", "delayed". Most are actually getting through, but not all. Attachments are accidentally being left off, color maps and charts printed in B&W making them unreadable, a few testimonials not making it to exhibits. These county employees are not malicious, just overwhelmed. Contact the county, [email protected] and [email protected]. Ask for your exhibit number and a copy to proof read. First choice!
Otherwise, time allowing and if we receive it early enough, we will check to be sure they are entered as you intended. Just email [email protected] with a copy of your testimonial (with any attachments you might have).

County begins hearing on Yacolt mine expansion The proposed expansion of the Yacolt Mountain gravel mine is now under consideration with nearby residents raising concerns over the impacts largely focused on the current operations they say have …

Take Action | East Fork Community Coalition 06/05/2022

A Continuance was set for Thursday, May 12th at 6pm. Records were left open till May 12th at 5pm.

We encourage you to write to the Hearing Examiner c/o [email protected]. Subject: PSR-2020-00223; WHR-2021-00019

1. Emphasize that you feel the Yacolt Mtn Quarry expansion should not be allowed and why.
In addition the Hearing Examiner is requesting we:
2. Endorse the points mentioned at the Hearing that you agree with. He is keeping track of these. (use 1 of 2 links below.)
3. Suggest specific ideas that will make the current permit (CUP) more effective, verifiable, and enforceable. (see italics)
4. "CC" or "BCC" [email protected]. We are interested in your ideas as well.

Link to view available at cvtv.org and at our website https://www.eastforkcommunitycoalition.com/take-action

Take Action | East Fork Community Coalition Write No Expansion for Yacolt Mountain Quarry to the Hearing Examiner. Attend the Hearing April 28, 2022. The County has proven that they are not able to enforce their own Conditional Use Permit. No Expansion until the County gets it's house in order. Help residents protect the livablity of this val...

Home | EFCC 27/04/2022

YMQ Expansion Webinar Hearing is Thursday, Apr 28th at 6pm. We encourage and appreciate your participation. A link to the Hearing and details are available in "Take Action" at https://www.eastforkcommunitycoalition.com.

* Testifying registration is due by noon on the 28th. We are told by the Hearing Examiner that he will not limit testimony time, though people are encouraged to be respectful of time.

* Write-ins testimonials have received an extension and are due May 5th by 5pm. Though we encourage people to get them in sooner.

* If a continuance is needed it is scheduled for Thursday, May 12th at 6pm.

Home | EFCC

15/04/2022

Read. Write. Listen. Even better, Testify. Apr 28th is near.

07/04/2022

What will the high winds, regularly 35 mph & gusts even higher, do to these tarps? Where could they sail off to? You deserve to know what is planned above the East Fork Lewis River, Lucia Falls Scenic Hwy, and homes if the expansion of YMQ is approved on April 28th. Overburden piles like this, for as many years as it takes, to exhaust the current quarry and then mine the expansion. This second overburden pile was started last May. It is already failing, as per the MHSA rep, but out of their jurisdiction. Notice the house and pool in the upper right-hand corner for perspective. Add to this hazard the documented landslide potential between the expansion and the river. Speak up now in writing. Instructions in previous posts. Help us to spread this news. More at https://www.eastforkcommunitycoalition.org

24/03/2022

The date for the Expansion Hearing has been set. Thursday, April 28, 6:00pm. It will be a county Webex, with access by phone also available. Details can be found in the link below.

The outcome of our futures will be affected by this Hearing if the current 83-acre quarry is allowed to add these 110 acres. Residents and recreationalists contend with noise, dust, truck traffic, roadway hazards, light pollution, and well issues from the existing quarry. Expansion increases concerns for landslide potential above homes and the East Fork, as well as Surface and Groundwater concerns. Residents are uniting in this way and support is growing.

Take Action now - Your voice matters!

1. Send your honest written testimonials of personal experiences and frustrations to [email protected] Attn: Hearing Examiner for PSR-2020-00223; WHR-2021-00019. Include your mailing address. Previous submissions of complaints or testimonials to the county will not be considered unless they go to this email address as of the application completion. You are invited to “cc” [email protected].

2. Testify at the Hearing - You must contact County staff no later than noon on April 28, 2022 to sign up to testify at [email protected] (preferred) or 564-397-4489. Include an accurate mailing address.

3. “Join us” at www.eastforkcommunitycoalition.org and receive updates. There is no fee or dues for membership. Scientific information, Issues, and proposed solutions are available there as well. Donations are welcome as we complete this process with professional help.

4. Help us to spread the word. Please forward this information to neighbors, friends, any groups you belong to. Together we are stronger.

EFCC is not against mining or development, we all use gravel. We promote "Best Practices”, safe practices, and being a good neighbor. The County first needs to enforce Yacolt Mountain Quarry's (aka Mountain Top Quarry's) current Conditional Use Permit before considering granting an Expansion. We are long-time residents working to protect our homes and the East Fork Lewis River.

Public notice and Hearing details at:https://clark.wa.gov/sites/default/files/media/document/2022-03/yacoltquarry-pn.pdf

clark.wa.gov

Take Action | East Fork Community Coalition 05/03/2022

The cost of reducing noise from quarries can be significant, how much should be required so that a retiree is not awakened in his or her bedroom at 6:30 in the morning, or so that a family can enjoy being outside on a spring afternoon?!

The Hearing date for the proposed Expansion has now been set for Thursday, April 28th. Learn now to take effective action at this link. "Take Action" and "Become a Member".
https://www.eastforkcommunitycoalition.com/take-action

Take Action | East Fork Community Coalition Write No Expansion for Yacolt Mountain Quarry to the Hearing Examiner. Attend the Hearing April 28, 2022. The County has proven that they are not able to enforce their own Conditional Use Permit. No Expansion until the County gets it's house in order. Help residents protect the livablity of this val...

Photos from East Fork Community Coalition's post 17/01/2022

Hauling today on MLK at Yacolt Mountain Quarry in spite of legal holiday restrictions in their CUP. The county enforces a daily violation citation and yet it continues. Should the operator be charged per truck?

24/11/2021

Have you witnessed gravel trucks NOT stopping for school buses?

We have received a few alarming stories from residents. The steep windy roads coming down from YMQ make it difficult or impossible for well-meaning gravel truck drivers to stop.

Have you witnessed or heard of this happening? One accident and “cheap gravel” is not worth the ultimate price. Residents have also voiced concerns for their mail carriers.

With trucks coming down these hills, 30 an hour, we need to make our voices heard. An expansion prolongs this game of Russian Roulette.
If you have ever seen this happen or heard of it, please write Hearing Examiner, c/o [email protected].

18/11/2021

“In 2002, Clark Co hearings examiner J. Richard Forester warned that the roads weren’t safe for the volume of heavy truck traffic at the proposed mountaintop rock quarry…” Columbian, Sept 21, 2011. Mountaintop aka Yacolt Mountain.

The Final Decision’s Conditional Use Permit (CUP, link below) requires that “…trucks shall use the vehicle wheel brake system instead of engine compression (Jake Brake) during the time the vehicles are traveling from the quarry…”, specific roads are listed.

If Jake Brakes are considered a safer way to break and if they are prohibited by the CUP, then do these heavy double vehicles belong on these steep and windy roads? With horse trailers? With our children on School buses???

Find these links at https://clark.wa.gov/sites/default/files/dept/files/community-development/quarries/Yacolt-SuperiorCourtJudgmentAPL2002-00020.pdf. See requirement N5, pg. 71, and N7, pg. 72.

https://www.columbian.com/news/2011/sep/21/traffic-fears-become-reality-neighbors-say-county/

15/11/2021

All Storedahl gravel trucks and trailers have tarps, why don't they use them and reduce dust and chipped windshields? Current discussion on Yacolt's Discussion Forum.

Photos from East Fork Community Coalition's post 12/11/2021

Yesterday, Veteran's Day, was a legal holiday. Hauling out of Yacolt Mountain Quarry on legal holidays is against their CUP, Conditional Use Permit. They pay the citations and continue to violate. How can the county permit an expansion if they are already not able to enforce the CUP already in place?

Photos from East Fork Community Coalition's post 12/11/2021

How are you feeling about the constant gravel truck traffic and noise?

At the encouragement of local residents, the county has made two attempts at mechanically counting gravel trucks out of YMQ.

Both attempts have failed. Their Conditional Use Permit (CUP, see link below) requires that “No more than 30 truck trips (one way) per hour shall be allowed in and out of the mine…”
Code enforcement has recently confirmed counts over 30. We have been told that a warning was issued.

Report heavy traffic to [email protected] as it is happening. Hold the county responsible to enforce their own CUP.

Find these links athttps://clark.wa.gov/sites/default/files/dept/files/community-development/quarries/Yacolt-SuperiorCourtJudgmentAPL2002-00020.pdf See truck requirements in N4, pg. 71, and N10, pg. 72
As always, we appreciate your photos [email protected].

08/11/2021

Are you experiencing problems with the Yacolt Mountain Quarry (YMQ)?

Noise, dust clouds, rocks, blasting, endless lines of double trucks on steep windy roads, groundwater problems, etc.? You are not alone.

Together we can take back the peaceful livability of our valley and homes. In recent years the balance has tipped in favor of the quarry.

This photo shows the quarry currently, at roughly 83 acres. The expansion, 110 acres, will more than double this quarry, and residents’ problems. According to Clark County GIS maps online, 400 additional acres have been purchased by Storedahl Properties, LLC. All above the East Fork of the Lewis River, bringing it dangerously closer to the documented landslide area. Rock quarries provide a valuable resource, but this one is in a very inappropriate location.

We NEED to act now to protect ourselves and our future.
1. Read about the anticipated problems and proposed mitigation in the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) from 2002 when the quarry was first issued their permit. These problems are no longer theoretical. Which ones are affecting you, past and present? You will find the YMQ permit under Land Use Documents CUP2002-00003 and APL2002-00020 at https://clark.wa.gov/code-administration/yacolt-mountain-quarry.
2. Read “Issues'' on www.eastforkcommunitycoalition.org. See what the experts and scientists have to say. Join us.
3. Follow us on Facebook as we discuss the issues and what we as individuals and a coalition can do about each one. Our goal is to work together. If this quarry is allowed to expand as proposed, we will be living with these problems for decades and generations.

03/11/2021

Does the noise and racket from Yacolt Mountain Quarry affect you and your home? In the permit issued by the County for their operation, the noise they generate must “... not exceed 57 decibels at the property line” at any time. Before 7am this drops to 47 decibels.

The county has recently supplied their code enforcement officer with a sound monitor to record decibels. Some citizens are using smart phone app decibel readers and handheld devices to register complaints, even miles away. This has gotten the county’s attention.

At this point only the county equipment is deemed acceptable to verify an actual violation.

If you suspect you have a violation or are just tired of the racket contact [email protected], (360)-836-9745 every day that you have noise. Remember, the county has acknowledged this is a complaint driven system.

Find the Quarry’s Conditional Use Permit links at:https://clark.wa.gov/sites/default/files/dept/files/community-development/quarries/Yacolt-SuperiorCourtJudgmentAPL2002-00020.pdf Noise restrictions in N1 (pg 71), N8 (pg. 72), and Q7 & Q8 (pg. 73)

Photos from East Fork Community Coalition's post 02/11/2021

Tired of reporting problems with Yacolt Mountain Quarry to the county for years, with little or no resolution? You are not alone.

The East Fork Community Coalition was formed a few years ago by residents and concerned citizens to unify our voices with the county.

These voices were heard at the Surface Mining Advisory Committee (SMAC) forums, and as a result, the county now has a code enforcement officer. Finally, someone to research and cite violations!

Mike Boyer has many responsibilities and this is a large task, so it’s acknowledged to be a “complaint driven system”. He needs our help.

Report suspected problems to [email protected], (360) 836-9745. Help us to build a public record of the problems and violations.

The county needs to know where code enforcement funding, support, and equipment needs to go. This record can also show the county and the YMQ Expansion Application Hearing Examiner why the expansion should not be approved“ unless or until the quarry operator complies with the existing terms of its permit and the county has its house in order.”

We encourage anyone effected by the quarry to read the YMQ conditional use permit under Land Use Documents CUP2002-00003 and APL2002-00020 at https://clark.wa.gov/code-administration/yacolt-mountain-quarry. It can be eye opening. Problems anticipated in 2002 are no longer a theoretical forecast, they are realized.

Thank you for sharing photos: Legal Holiday Hauling Violation & After hours blasting

Become a Member | EFCC 28/10/2021

Do you value SW Washington local beauty and bountiful resources? Do you consider the East Fork of the Lewis River one of the most valuable? Dare we endanger the East Fork of the Lewis River with the mining operation and the transportation of gravel from the Yacolt Mountain Quarry (YMQ)? Past and present problems show that although the quarry has valuable rock products needed by the County, the YMQ is in an inappropriate location for many reasons.

The YMQ has outflows that find their way into the East Fork. Gravel truck traffic on nearby roads also results in sediment getting into the tributaries to the East Fork. This potentially endangers the salmon species that live and thrive there.

The “Friends of the East Fork”, indicates it is a nationally recognized stream that contains no dams, holds the state record for the largest steelhead, has the potential to be a good fishery & be made highly productive again. However, the salmon numbers are dropping and are in danger due to man-made changes. Their spawning areas in the gravel beds have been degraded because of us.

The salmon are just one resource we must preserve in our environment.

This past April, The WA Dept. Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) in collaboration with Bonneville Power & in cooperation with Friends of the East Fork & the Dean Swanson Family, recently released about 120,000 Chum Salmon fry into the lower East Fork Lewis River at the Swanson property.

An estimated $32 million have been spent to restore and save this resource. Yet the YMQ is applying to expand immediately above the river with a documented landslide area above the wild gene spawning bank.

Joining our group, you can learn how to help these beautiful inhabitants remain in our river.
https://www.eastforkcommunitycoalition.com/become-a-member

Become a Member | EFCC The East Fork Community Coalition (EFCC) has a growing membership and is open to the public. Membership is Free. There are no dues. Sign up below to join and receive email updates.

22/10/2021

Recent Position Statement sent to County:

To: Clark County Council
Clark County Manager

There are currently four applications concerning surface mining being considered by the County. We are a group of citizens concerned with how the County deals with those applications and would like to emphasize the following points.

1. We understand that the products from surface mining are important to the local economy. We support mining activities when they are in an appropriate location and are appropriately monitored by the County.

2. The County has done a poor job in the past in both locating and monitoring surface mining activities.

3. One reason for the County's shortfalls is that the County has done very little planning for surface mining. Therefore, the County consistently responds to industry demands rather than providing leadership for the entire County.

4. The County should identify and encourage resources for surface mining that are in typically rural and lightly populated areas.

5. The quarries at Livingston Mountain and Yacolt Mountain are examples of what the County should avoid. The County's application and enforcement failures at both locations have made the lives of thousands of citizens more unpleasant than they should be.

6. The Conditional Use Permits (CUP) granted by the County need to be improved to make monitoring quarry activities easier. A simple example from the Yacolt Mountain Quarry is that the CUP specifies a maximum of 30 truckloads of product may be shipped per hour, but makes no requirement for monitoring of that provision. A code enforcement officer is required to be at the quarry counting trucks when it would be simpler to require the operator to provide documentation of truckloads shipped. Similar small changes to the CUP would make monitoring of sound levels and other issues easier for the County.

7. The citizens of Clark County will be better served if the application to expand the Yacolt Mountain Quarry is rejected. Then, industry and the County should commit to finding and developing surface mining resources in appropriate locations with appropriate permits.

Dick Leeuwenburg, President
East Fork Community Coalition

14/10/2021

HUGE WIN for WASHOUGAL PIT NEIGHBORS!

Hello all,

Attached is Judge Fairgrieve’s ruling on Zimmerly’s and Nutter’s appeal of the Gorge Commission decision, issued tonight.

The Judge agreed with Friends of the Columbia Gorge, the neighbors, and the Gorge Commission that the 1993 mining permit issued by the Gorge Commission’s executive director expired a long time ago and is void. Also, because Zimmerly never obtained any new land use permits, the mining that Nutter did in 2017 to 2020 was illegal.

The Judge also agreed that there was no need to remand the case back to Hearing Examiner Joe Turner, because Turner had already found that no mining happened for multiple periods of more than one year after the late 1990s, which thus automatically voided the 1993 permit under its own terms.

This is a very good decision that was well worth the wait. It has now been confirmed, yet again, that Nutter and Zimmerly broke the law in mining without the required land use permits – just as Friends, Clark County, the Gorge Commission, and now the Superior Court have all said over the past four years.

Zimmerly and Nutter can ask Judge Fairgrieve to reconsider his decision and/or they can appeal to the Washington Court of Appeals.

They also still have an application for mining permits pending before the Clark County Land Use Hearing Examiner; their application is still currently on hold. We don’t yet know how soon they might try to reactivate that application and resume the hearing process.

Nathan Baker
Senior Staff Attorney
Friends of the Columbia Gorge

Photos from East Fork Community Coalition's post 13/10/2021

Do you know anything about this gravel truck accident?
Photos were provided by one of our followers. Fri, Oct 8 approx. 2:25pm on Main Street. It looked like the rock truck rear-ended the car. Please let us know any information you have. Thanks. [email protected].

Photos from East Fork Community Coalition's post 27/09/2021

Active Conversation now on Hockinson Group. Dump truck dropping large rocks on road. Our previous posts say to call #311 and report oversized loads. In this case, because of the danger; note the time, location, and call #911 immediately. If you are able to get the truck number, report it.

23/09/2021

Are you concerned about the expansion of the Quarry but feel alone or defeated? Not sure what to do with those concerns? Are you are talking with friends who all share the same worries?

Believe us, you are not alone. Recently we were made aware of our local Next Door conversation and here are just a few comments from our citizens:

“Has anyone been concerned about the speed which the Storedahl trucks have been traveling on Rasmussen (25 mph) to the new construction project near 503? The other day they were going so fast the vibration was shaking my entire house.”

“As a commercial driver for a school district, this really bothers me.”

“Contact Michael Boyer. He’s the Clark County code enforcer assigned to the quarries. Flood him with complaints: …360.836.9745 – cell, 564.397.4375 – desk, email – [email protected].”

Get involved, follow us and share our posts, email or call the officials. You are not alone!

21/09/2021

Help Save Our Wild Salmon!
Our environment is precious. Our fish populations are under threat. If the expansion of the Yacolt Mountain Quarry (YMQ) continues as planned, it will add to the risk. Historically, silt and settling ponds have been allowed to drain into the East Fork and its tributaries.
Share our posts, with your friends on social media. People in and out of our area should be outraged! We need everyone’s support in opposing the expansion of the YMQ as is, with little or no regulation. We must emphasize that the resources are there to make the mine a safer operation.

From the Friends of the East Fork:
The East Fork Lewis River, one of the last free-flowing rivers in SW Washington, is in serious trouble! Over the last 150 years the river has been stripped of its old growth timber, burnt over by the Yacolt fires, and severely degraded by gravel mining. Its wild fish have been over harvested almost to extinction. Development crowds its banks and riparian areas. The East Fork’s wild salmon and steelhead suffer from high water temperatures, lack of cool ground water, recharged pools, and cover. It’s spawning beds have been destroyed by silt. NOW is the time to say ‘ENOUGH’! NOW is time for us to WORK TOGETHER TO BRING THE EAST FORK — BACK FROM BRINK!
*Wild steelhead at Lucia Falls on the East Fork Lewis River. Photo: The Columbian

Photos from East Fork Community Coalition's post 14/09/2021

Are you interested in learning more about our East Fork Community Coalition? We are a passionate group of citizens dedicated to protecting the East Fork of the Lewis River, its valley, our homes and our families.
Regardless of numerous forums exposing the many concerns of County residents, the quarry operator is still moving ahead with its application to expand. The operator is planning to move overburden above a documented landslide area and then mining the new addition. We could use your help to preserve the peaceful livability of this valley.

We have an updated website! Please sign up “Join Us”, https://www.eastforkcommunitycoalition.com/become-a-member to become a member (membership is Free) and to receive timely updates. We will share with you the steps to take at the various phases of our movement. For more information on this project, visit our website at website.
Together we can make a difference!

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Our Story

Welcome to life in Northern Clark County, which sits right above the irreplaceable assets of the East Fork of the Lewis River, Lucia Falls, and Moulton Falls. Community members describe their homes as beautiful and note that the rural lifestyle provides both privacy, a quiet retreat, and endless opportunities for outdoor recreation to the public. Nested between the Cascade Mountains and the Pacific Coast, the East Fork of the Lewis River, a tributary to the Columbia, cuts through the northern part of the county and provides cold water habitat for endangered Pacific salmonids. This area in many ways encompasses the idyllic dream that many picture when they think of life in the Pacific Northwest.

However, over the past three years especially, life in this area has been drastically altered by the effects of the Yacolt Mountain Mine, a nearly 100 acre surface mine that sits atop a mountain where volcanic rock is mined and crushed into gravel and other aggregate. This activity has caused numerous problems and concerns for the approximately 1400 homes that sit around and below it. These concerns include but are not limited to:


  • Wooly Erionite, a.k.a “naturally occurring asbestos”, private testing has found in one home and suspected in others. Mordenite and Silica have been found through independent lab testing. These materials, when crushed into fine particulates and made airborne, can be inhaled where the fibers become lodged in the lungs, causing respiratory, cardiovascular and seriously increased cancer risk.

  • Blasts violently shaking homes as far as 2 miles away and occurring outside of approved times.
  • Telephone