According to a recent environmental assessment, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has proposed opening the Naselle quarry, clearing ten acres of land to bedrock and extracting perhaps a million cubic yards of rock over the next 20 years.

If this comes to pass, it means the equivalent of 50,000 semi-tractor-trailers each hauling 20 cubic yards of rock passing over our roads and through our communities. Even if you average it over 20 years, it means 2,500 trips a year (5,000 if you include the unloaded return). This is a lot of traffic.

Presumably, much of this traffic would be front-loaded in 2005 and 2006 for work on the jetty at the mouth of the Columbia just in time for the Lewis and Clark events.

Also, clearing ten acres involves, according to the Corps, removing and depositing 300,000 cubic yards (that's 15,000 20-cubic-yard semi trips) uphill from a stream that flows into Willapa Bay oyster beds. It's hard to believe the assertion in the report that this would have no impact because they have left a riparian corridor.

As I am a resident near the quarry, I have other concerns as well, but if you share the concerns I have listed here or have others of your own, you can voice them directly to the District Engineer at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer District, Portland (Attn: CENWP-PM-E, P.O. Box 2946, Portland, Oregon 97208-2946), before Dec. 2.

So far, the Corps has not even moved forward to an environmental impact statement, even through it seems that the water quality degradation and truck traffic would affect both our quality of life and local economy.

Douglas Kess


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