Raging River Conservation Group

What the neighbors are saying:

Excerpts from several of the complaints:

Filed December 20, 2016

The blast on the quarry property on Friday Dec 16 tilted pictures on the walls of my house. It shook the whole house with enough force to disturb the pets inside along with two of us in the house. The percussion wave that immediately followed was also very intense in that it significantly moved the windows on both the north and south sides of the house. Our location is 32412 SE 58th st on the top of the hill. There was no siren or warning signal heard thus the blast came without warning. This activity is suppose to be monitored for compliance with earth movement and sound wave strength and distance. I request the report for this and all of the other explosions for the the last year. Please forward them to me. Also since the blasting has started last spring our well is contaminated with silt to such a degree that the bottom of our holding tank is full and the water is now carrying silt it into our home water system. I will incur costs to clean the piping and distribution system as a result of the quarry blasting activity. In the near future this blasting will result in recurring cleaning cost that I never expected since the initial operation of the well in 1992.

Fall City resident (name held to preserve anonymity)

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Filed December 16, 2016
Dear Mr. White, Ms. Lambert, and Fereshteh Dehkordi,

I am writing to all of you in regard to the Eastside Rock Product Quarry Blast that happened in Fall City yesterday, December 15, around 3:10 p.m.

There are a variety of issues that greatly concern my family, especially after we felt the impact of yesterday's blast. Having lived in California for 17 years and experiencing numerous earthquakes, my house shook as if it had been hit by an earthquake in the magnitude of slightly above 5.0. My senior uncle was nearly knocked off of his feet as he was standing in our dining room. Pictures swayed, windows rattled, etc.

My husband and I bought our home provided with the information that the quarry was no longer active. We purchased this house for the peace and quiet, the beauty of the forest, hills, and river, and the clean air. Shortly after we moved in, the quarry became active, and we now hear the multiple gravel trucks, drilling, and/or excavating on a daily basis. Driving along Fall City Preston Road has become a congested, noisy eye sore with all of the gravel trucks flying up and down it. When working or relaxing outside in my yard, the sound of the trucks and excavating is annoying, to put it simply. As I sit here and type this I am distracted by the sounds of these gravel trucks up and down the FC-Preston Road. It sounds like I live next to a highway.

Lastly, I am most concerned about the health of my family members. My son has asthma, and my daughter who has never shown signs of asthma developed asthma this November. Having seen the dust cloud, I have to wonder if her asthma is not linked to this blasting. If the dust contains silica, there is great potential for asthma and lung cancer. Quarry trucks are not covered and dust flies off them as they commute along Preston Fall City Road. This dust from the trucks and the blasts goes into the air we breathe and into the water of the Raging River: prime salmon and bird habitat. Definitely not something I anticipated when we bought this house, as we were told the quarry was inactive.

The quarry provided notice of the blast on the morning of November 16th. From my understanding, they are required to provide 24 hours notice. This was not done. The Fall City Community Association was notified, but I personally have received notice only once from the quarry, since September of 2015.

I would appreciate your help in mitigating the negative impacts of the current quarry activity upon myself, my family, the residents, and the land and rivers of Fall City. I encourage you to deny the quarry expansion as it will create further problems for the residents, landscape, and rivers of Fall City. Should you like to discuss these concerns further, please call me at the cell number: #####.

Thank you for your time.

Fall City resident (name held to preserve anonymity)

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Filed December 15, 2016
At 3:11 pm today, Dec 15, 2016, we felt what we thought was a small earthquake accompanied with a roar. The windows shook and you could feel the vibrations in the floor.

I had information that the quarry was blasting today and realized this was what happened. I do not border the quarry.

I feel this is not an acceptable condition. A quarry should not be operating in such close proximity to residences. It cannot be good for our private well or the overall ground water supply for our area.

The Raging River quarry should not be allowed to continue operation.

Fall City resident (name held to preserve anonymity)

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Filed December 15, 2016
I just heard a *very* loud explosion from my home in ***** (an area where I should not be hearing anything).

As someone who suffers from pollution induced asthma (I do not have asthma under any circumstances except for under extreme pollution circumstances), I am extremely concerned about this. This quarry means that my air quality is severely compromised, and when I hear a blast this loud, it is clear that regulations are not being met and my health is not being protected.

You will continue to hear from me until this is resolved. Please take action before the landscape and people's health are profoundly impacted.

Fall City resident (name held to preserve anonymity)

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Filed December 15, 2016
I am writing to express my concern over the recent blasting at the Raging River Quarry in Fall City, WA. On Friday December 9th at approx 3:30 pm my home in Fall City shook from the noise and vibration caused by the blasting. I live approx a mile away from the blasting site. The noise and vibration are no where near acceptable and are impacting our community in an extremely negative light.

I have to question why noise and vibration of this magnitude would be allowed in our community. Fall City is home to wildlife including salmon, bear, deer and many species of birds. The noise that I have been hearing is most certainly impacting the residence of Fall City and also the wildlife.

I work for a large general contractor. I can honestly say that each and every project we work on our number one concern is community relations and respecting the neighbors and the environment we are working in. I can tell you first hand that the Raging River Quarry is in no way respecting their neighbors both human and animal in their business practices.

It is extremely disheartening to me that King County is allowing the Quarry to operate the way they are. From the way they are conducting business it is clear that making money is more important than preserving wildlife and respecting the people of Fall City.

I understand that the blasting is going to commence today. I encourage you to please reconsider this. There are no benefits to anyone, other than the financial status of the quarry, by allowing them to continue.

Fall City resident (name held to preserve anonymity)

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Filed May 24, 2016
My family and I have lived in a peaceful, quiet rural residential area in King County for the past 27 years.

Our lifestyle has recently changed since the Raging River Quarry has resumed operations after over 20 years of non-operation. The blasting is loud and shakes and rattles neighboring homes; dust is being created that settles on homes and cars; some neighbors' water wells have been disturbed making the water undrinkable; all day long noise from the large machines and blasting disturbs the peace and quiet.

Our main concern is the possibility of erosion of the extremely steep slope across the river from us. Several years ago, during a very wet period, trees and fractured rock gave way and slid into the river by our home. That slide showed how unstable the slope is. If the Raging River Quarry is allowed to blast only 200 feet from the river, we are afraid a massive slide may result, potentially blocking the river and coming onto our property putting our home and lives in danger. Obviously the slide at Oso comes to mind. The question becomes, who would be liable for any damage to the river and neighboring homes and properties if such a catastrophic slide should occur. I feel that King County is potentially opening itself up to many damage suits if it allows expanded operation of the quarry.

Another concern is for the wildlife and salmon. We see deer, bobcats, coyote, black bears, as well as bald eagles and great blue heron. The possible destruction of their habitat should be taken into consideration. We regularly see a bald eagle couple and their immature offspring along the river. This is obviously part of their foraging area. I would think that the mining operation and blasting could possibly disturb them. I also wonder whether the spawning salmon might also be upset from the mining operation.

Last, it is estimated that 100 to 120 truck-trailers will be entering and exiting the quarry on a daily basis. This will create additional noise problems as the trucks slow down to enter the quarry and speed up on leaving. This additional heavily loaded traffic will degrade the Preston Fall City Rd SE faster than normal creating more expense for King County for maintaining and repaving. Another issue involves safety hazards from the additional traffic. First is for pedestrians crossing the road at the Preston-Snoqualmie Trail crossing and also in Preston, as well as vehicles encountering the slowed down trucks entering and leaving the quarry. I am afraid that this extra traffic could lead to many serious accidents.

Fall City resident (name held to preserve anonymity)

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Filed May 23, 2016
Dear Mr. White,

Unfortunately we were unable to the Public meeting on May 4, 2016 to present our questions and concerns regarding the Raging River Quarry. Therefore, we are presenting our comments below.

1. The zoning for the property changed to 'mining' over twenty years ago. Given how much has changed in terms of traffic / population growth / etc in Fall City and the surrounding areas, why was this allowed in 2016 and what can be done to change the zoning back and revoke the current permit?

2. The noticeable increase in the number of large trucks on Fall City - Preston Road during the quarry operating hours increases the safety issues for those of us who regularly enter the road from side streets or driveways. Bicycling on Fall City - Preston Road as a means of transportation has become more dangerous during the weekdays and safety would only deteriorate if the expansion is allowed to go forward.

3. We live approximately 2/3 mile (as the crow flies) from the gravel pit. Since the gravel pit opened, there has been a noticeable intermittent increase in the background noise level on our property during the gravel pit operating hours.

4. We walk almost daily on the Snoqualmie-Preston trail between the parking lot on Lake Alice and the area of the old trestle across Fall City - Preston Road. During the quarry's operating hours, the noise level on the trail has increased to an uncomfortable level as one approaches the Fall City - Preston Road so much so that there really doesn't seem to be a reason people would utilize this trail system for the recreation/solitude it once provided.

5. Many people in our community have worked on various projects to protect our resources here that provide a benefit to people living in the more compact urban areas. The addition of the quarry undermines the work done to maintain our Valley as a peaceful area that provides a retreat from other areas of the county (one just has to visit on a hot summer day and see the number of people enjoying the Snoqualmie River to understand this point). The quarry addition represents another erosion of a way of life here in the Valley.

6. If the county was able to purchase the Campground in Fall City, and the property that now houses Rainier Recycling, why not purchase the quarry and surrounding land in view of the above.

Furthermore, we are aghast by some of the serious concerns raised by our friends and neighbors, particularly, but not limited to houses shaking during blasts, trees falling on houses, and a crack opening on a property.

In conclusion, we strongly oppose plans that would allow for any expansion of the current quarry. We also would support any move by King County to revoke all permits and return the property to its earlier FR (Forest Recreation) zoning.

Thank you for your consideration,

Fall City resident (name held to preserve anonymity)

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Filed May 22, 2016
It is now 7:40 PM, Sunday evening, 5/22/2016 and the noise from the Air Track drill at the Raging River Quarry finally subsided. Day in and day out the drilling echoes up the valley from this mining pit, now that it has been reactivated by the owner, John Priebe. >

We were told that blasting activity only happens, weekdays. I'd like to suggest someone from Kathy Lambert's office visit our community and hear what a Air Track drill sounds like, all times of the day, including weekends. I live nearly a mile away on the other side of the valley from this quarry and our life is disturbed not only by the sounds of blasting, the roar of added trucks speeding up our road, but by the roar of the giant Air Track drill boring into the bedrock.

AGAIN, THIS DRILLING JUST FINISHED ON A SUNDAY EVENING, DISTURBING OUR BEAUTIFUL COMMUNITY.

The owner, John Priebe, has lied to King County when claiming mining and blasting activities only occur during the week.

Fall City resident (name held to preserve anonymity)

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Please note the ANSWER from DPER regarding property issues:
24._The quarry operator shall be responsible for any damage to nearby properties, including domestic water supply wells, attributable to blasting on the subject property. Claims for any such damage shall be the responsibility of the affected property owner and the quarry operator to handle directly between themselves, but a failure of the quarry operator to respond in good faith to any such claim may be cause for denial of future grading permits, or prohibition or restriction upon future blasting.

The quarry mailing address is:
Raging River Quarry, LLC
3132 NE Harrison St.
Issaquah, WA 98029