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  • Stakeholder Group Meeting Thurston County Mineral Lands Project

    1

    Wednesday, October 24, 2018 10:30am – 1:00pm

    Thurston County Public Works Building 4, First Floor, HR Training Room (101)

    929 Lakeridge Dr. SW, Olympia, WA 98502

    In Attendance:

    Mary Castle Weyerhaeuser Grant Newport Genium Geo Eric Kittlsby Miles S&G Ryan Ransavage Miles S&G Mark Hancock Segale Properties Greg Schoenbachler Citizen Sue Danver Black Hills Audubon

    Phyllis Farrell Sierra Club Loretta Seppanen SSCFLT James Essig Granite Construction Kyler Danielson Lakeside Industries John Bromley DNR Rian Skov DNR Maya Teeple Thurston County

    Mineral Resource Lands Overview and Q&A

    Maya gave an overview of the mineral lands process and where we are currently at. • The mineral lands stakeholder meeting serves as a sounding board and to stimulate discussion and

    alternative areas of research. The group has met previously 8 times, discussing the inventory and classification update and designation of mineral resource lands. In this meeting, the stakeholder group is discussing policy for mineral resource lands.

    • Today’s focus is on proposed code language related to the mineral resource lands update.

    Mineral Resource Lands – Proposed Code Updates

    Staff reviewed major changes in the new version of code language, which include 17.20 and 20.30B.015. To view comments from the group marked in track changes on the code language, see Attachment A. Please note: The track changes you see in Attachment A are for the sole purpose of capturing discussion points and suggested text during the Mineral Resource Lands Stakeholder meeting on 10/24/2018. The following general comments were made:

    • Are there sections within the Comprehensive Plan or code language that specifically address the co- designation of mineral resource lands and long term agriculture, such as restoring usability, topsoil, compaction, and water rights?

    o Water rights are managed by Department of Ecology. • Is there a plan to integrate WRIA reports with the Comprehensive Plan Update? • What does “non-strategic minerals” mean? Text is within the Comprehensive Plan, Chapter 3, designation

    criteria. • Ensure that Chapter 3 specifies new info should be used when it’s available.

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    Section 17.20 – Mineral Extraction Code

    17.20.040 – Spill Prevention • Ecology also requires a spill prevention plan and monitors it regularly. • The County should add language to this section that states a spill prevention plan is required in the event

    Ecology does not require one.

    17.20.050 – Fuel and Hazardous Materials • These standards are similar to the requirements for the sand and gravel general permit. • Staff should add language stating “if no NPDES permit, the following applies”

    17.20.060 – Drainage and Stormwater Control • The County may want to be more stringent than what’s required by Ecology in order to account for

    cumulative impacts. • Text in 17.20.060(B) that states “upon discovery of the discharge of pollutants to ground or surface waters…”

    is contradictory to the General Permit, which allows discharge to ground and surface waters. • Is Thurston County’s stormwater and erosion manual is more stringent than Ecology’s manual?,

    o Staff should review it to see how many differences there are.

    17.20.060 – Domestic Water Supplies • How can one show causation that decline in water quality is due directly to a gravel operation, specifically if

    there are no baseline parameters? o This is the importance of requiring a baseline. o Operators shouldn’t be liable if a pollutant isn’t from their operation. Example of fecal coliform was

    given.

    17.20.110 – Noise • Staff reviewed changes, which include strike out of quarterly report requirement, and have frequency

    determined as a component of the permit conditions. Stated ensuring compliance is a major factor here. o Puget Sound Clean Air previously used to require mining operations to respond directly to neighbors

    issuing a complaint, typically within a 48 hour time period, for air issues. o Staff could research having a similar condition for noise. o ORCAA requires a contact sign at the fence for air quality complaints.

    • Requested removal of the text which states “Class A EDNA”.

    17.20.140 – Rehabilitation and conservation requirements. • DNR stated that rehabilitation and reclamation have different meanings. Portions of this text use

    “reclamation”, and other portions use “rehabilitation”. • Areas of co-designated among agriculture and mineral lands, this section should be clear on the expectations

    of returning a mine to agricultural use after closure and reclamation. • Item (8) may be an opportunity to explicitly call out return to agricultural use in Long Term

    Agriculture/Nisqually Agriculture. o Highly productive agricultural lands are not typically highly productive mining lands – could be

    adjacent and on the same parcel. Eastern Washington has cases of properties which are dually used for mineral/agricultural lands.

    o Co-designation beneficial to both industries as it provides opportunity to profit depending on changing market drives.

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     Long-Term Agricultural lands are conserved for agriculture in the future and are more than just the economics of the current landowner. The same applies for mineral resource lands.

    • Do sites ever close and move material every year to avoid reclamation? o Yes – sites can do this. Mining is market driven so a site can move small amounts of soil to stay

    registered and hold the permit open to wait for jobs. o Annual registration and fees still required to regulatory agencies with oversight. o Expectation is that the site is reclaimed once the resource is exhausted.

    17.20.200 – Hydrogeological Report. • The County should review the requirements under 17.20.200 and the mock-up hydrogeological report with

    other hydrogeologists external to the County. o Will the stakeholder group have the opportunity to review, and what public process will there be on

    the mock-up report? • Recommended to add “confined or unconfined” and “hydraulic pressure” to (B). • The text under (C) should be more specific. Identifying all inputs/outputs could be an overburden.

    o Staff stated that the mock-up report would be more specific and give examples of what this text means.

    • The text under (D) should remove volume. This is hard to determine an exact amount of water to be affected, and could create a liability to the hydrogeologist that authors the report. Estimations are not exact.

    o Does this include recycled water, water capture? o How are receptors determined to be “important”? o Others felt that estimated volume and impacts of use are important to capture.

    • Recommended for (L) changing “contingency plan” to “adaptive management plan”. These impacts to quality, quantity, and users are unknown.

    o Drought and precipitation are completely out of the control of the operator. This text should be removed. If there is a stop-water use for the whole area, then it may be applicable.

    o Senior water rights may determine this.

    17.20.210 – Groundwater Monitoring. • Whatever new language is adopted the County should ensure appropriate staffing is available to implement

    and ensure compliance. • Language should be added that states plan can be submitted by hydrogeologist, geologist, or third party. • Groundwater monitoring should only cover parameters associated with mine. Don’t look for pollutants that

    are not from a mining operation within their monitoring plan (example of fecal coliform was given). • Monitoring should be limited to areas that are legally accessible only or county-owned/publicly-owned. • The County should apply (B) across all operations. If reports are consistent and baseline data is collected, the

    county should consider reducing frequency.

    Section 20.30B – Designated Mineral Resource Lands

    20.30B.015(1) – Applicability. • County should consider this text specifically in relation to co-designated long term agriculture lands. • Grandfathering operations by adding in “as of the date of this ordinance” does a disservice to current and

    future operations. o Expansion should be encouraged over a new operation.

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    o Encouraging expansion may keep frequency of new operations down. • If expansion is allowed with the 1,000-foot separation distance (Option C-3), should there be a minimum

    setback from parks in the Special Use Permit section, 20.54? o All environmental and land use considerations are still reviewed at the site-specific permit level. o Allowing exceptions for operations to expand into the 1,000-foot separation distance could slowly

    eat away at the protection area and lead to degraded quality of parkland. • Land trusts should be considered a protected “park”. Buffers are increasingly important with climate

    change/shorelines. • Miles Sand & Gravel stated they are in support of option C-3, which allows for expansion of exis