On November 5, 2018, Lakeside Industries filed two applications, and , for permits to build a hot mix asphalt plant next to the Cedar river and near residential neighborhoods in unincorporated King County in the Maple Valley Heights-Lake Desire, Washington area.
Constructing an asphalt plant here will be disastrous for both. An ordinance issued in November of 2017 by the Metropolitan King County Council to delay construction of the plant noted that “The upper part of the Cedar river is the source for drinking water for the1.4 million people in the greater Seattle area, and the Cedar river provides aquatic habitat for chinook salmon, coho salmon, sockeye salmon, kokanee, winter steelhead, bull trout and coastal cutthroat,” and went on to state that “Residential properties surrounding these industrial parcels rely on groundwater for potable water sources,” and further cites the “potential impacts of contamination from industrial uses on water quality in close proximity to the Cedar River.”
To understand just how bad this will be, here are some of the complaints to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency about Lakeside’s plant in Covington:
- "Billows of smoke come from a asphalt plant."
- "All Day Saturday the asphalt making process was Causing bad air making breathing difficult."
- "Dust coming from stack"
- "Thick black smoke coming from loading equipment that puts asphalt into trucks"
- "Terrible tar smell impacting complainant."
- "Smell from source was so bad, had to come inside house."
- "Strong smell from source today...can't go outside."
- "The plant is smelling terrible today."
- "Extremely noxious odor. Smoke, dust & particulates hanging in air. Odor & smoke causing nausea, difficulty breathing, sneezing and coughing in 5mo infant and 2-1/2yo toddler. Ongoing issue. Previous complaints unanswered."
- "Asphalt production pungent smell that occurs every weekday and occasionally on weekends. It happens all the time but the month of July has been very bad this year. The smell forces us to leave for most of the day and luckily it's heaviest from 8am-12pm."
- "Emissions today are gross, the worst ever. Please call."
Citizens to Stop the SR169 Asphalt Plant Legal Fund is not against asphalts, just placing one near an ecologically sensitive area and near residential neighborhoods, nor are we against the union drivers hauling the materials.