No Cumberland Asphalt Plant and Gravel Pits

Latest news, March 10: A petition just went online: You can visit it at . And the Issues section below has been greatly expanded. Thank you for the help people emailed in.

Community comments must be submitted to the King County Executive Office before March 12, 2024. This is our only chance to speak.

Email comments to Fereshteh Dehkordi, Senior Project Manager at King County:
Call her at: (206) 477-8479

The issues Segale evaded

Segale's presentation at the Community Meeting on Feb. 27 sidestepped and omitted important issues for our land and town.

The contamination of Green River Gorge Springs, Deep Lake, and our aquifer.


Please see the issues detailed below

Please consider sending your own, personal comments to the project coordinator at King County. As few as 50 people and organizations sending in comments makes an impression on King County. That makes your comment magnified.


The land could be turned into a large park instead

The state and county have both shown interest in purchasing this land from Segale, and merging it with the other state parks in our area to make it into a destination area. Lizard Mountain would be a destination much like Mt. Peak, and it has better views (yes, we're biased).

How to make comments? In 2020, King County requested public comments for the Maple Valley Asphalt Plant, which Lakeside Industries wanted to build. Starting at Page 23 of the PDF linked below, these comments can give you an idea how they are written. The first part of the document is Lakeside's response to these comments.

Download the PDF by clicking on this link .

The Basic Issues

Please click on these links to see more below. If you find that we are missing important issues, please email us at "contact" @ noplant "dot" org, and we will add your points to the list so others can see them.

  • Water Pollution - tailing ponds, heavy metals, bio-sludge reclamation pits, and their effects on the Green River Gorge Springs and Deep Lake
  • Truck Traffic - 500+ heavy diesel trucks a day for 35 years
  • Dead Animals - killed, poisoned, run over, cut off from their North-South migration routes
  • Kanaskat-Palmer State Park ruined - no quiet, explosions only a quarter mile away, frightened animals
  • Green River Gorge Springs - pure spring water, peace and quiet ruined
  • Reclamation of the Land - how will these massive gravel pits and tailing ponds be healed 35 years from now?
  • The Permitting Process - our roles in this process, and the timeline
  • Water Rights - taking our groundwater, aquifer and springs
  • The Asphalt Plant - Dirty, filthy, full of toxic chemicals, fumes. (details are coming soon)
  • Extreme Noise - C4 explosions at night, massive rock grinders, huge earth movers, diesel trucks until 4am (details are coming soon)
  • Our Rural Life - we sought nature and paid large mortgages for the opportunity - now it will be gone, and so will our property values

Water Pollution

Segale did not explain how their tailing ponds, which they said at the Community Meeting would hold “heavy metals”, would not leech into the groundwater and aquifer, or the methods they would use to recycle and “clean” the water before releasing it into the ground. What levels of chemicals and pollution are permitted after such recycling? This was never explained to us, and we wish to have an EIS to understand all the complexities and dangers of these processes. Inevitably accidents will happen over 35 years, and how will this contaminate our water?

As discussed in more detail in the Land Reclamation section below, what will actually be used to fill these empty gravel pits at the end of their use? Contaminated waste, garbage, bio-sludge? These are the usual fillers. And these contaminants will seep into our groundwater and poison the aquifer and Green River Gorge Springs.

Further, Segale has stated they will not dig within 10 feet of the aquifer. Yet the measurements they took were taken during the dry season, when the aquifer is at its lowest point. Throughout the rest of the year the aquifer and groundwater are much higher, especially after our common heavy rains from early Fall to the start of Summer. There should be a re-evaluation of these studies, along with an EIS, to find the actual height of the aquifer during our heavy rain and flood seasons, and the effects of the mining, explosion, and asphalt petro-chemicals at this higher water level.

Deep Creek will also be significantly affected by the pits as it runs very close to them. Deep Creek has been studied a great deal over the years by State environmental scientists, and it has severely declined over that time, likely by industrial pollutants, with few fish and insects left. Further degradation of this creek by this project will severely harm Deep Lake, which the Creek directly feeds.

Also, the asphalt plant will be near to the river and fish habitats at the North of the property, and if there are any accidents or problems, these areas will be damaged.

Truck Traffic

Truck traffic alone, without any other issue, will destroy our way of life. On average, 500 heavy diesel trucks a day. There's no way to look at this issue without being shocked.

Massive diesel trucks, 500+ a day, from 8am until 4am in the morning, 20 hours a day, for the next 35 years. That's one truck every 2 minutes. Running right through Cumberland, Deep Lake and Nolte, Kanaskat, Krain's Corner, and downtown Enumclaw.

You can only sidestep this issue by ignoring the immense damages to the road, the loud pounding of the diesel trucks, the deceleration brakes, the smoke and fumes polluting our fresh air, the children staying clear of the roads, the dogs getting run over. We paid heavy mortgages to move to a quiet, safe area, and now that will disappear.

The 500+ diesel trucks per day will also heavily impact Nolte State Park, Deep Lake, and the neighborhoods around Nolte.

A dangerous aspect of these heavy trucks is that to pedestrians. Cumberland has a lot of foot traffic: children are on the side of the road getting off and on school busses and playing - this is a family neighborhood - and bicyclists frequently ride these roads for recreation. There is a high likelihood of accidents and injury to our children and pets.

And who will pay for the massive damages of this road? The Cumberland Road barely gets a tenth of the traffic that HWY 169 does. It wasn't made for this rough use. If you have been on the Franklin-Enumclaw road which branches off from Hwy 169, you know how beat up it gets from all the truck traffic there.

And not once in the meeting did Segale state that they would pay for any and all maintenance of the road caused by their trucks.

And has the Enumclaw city council discussed this new, high volume of traffic running right through town?

Dead Animals

There's very little to say about the animals at this point. Obviously it will be an atrocity. Tailing ponds, toxic waste, poisoned water and springs, destroyed habitats, C4 explosions.

Birds and animals will flee Kanaskat State Park and the Green River Gorge Springs. Explosions, massive machinery, rock grinders will be only a quarter mile away from the parks. The North-South migration route between Kanaskat and Deep Lake will be cut off for animals.

We moved here for the natural beauty and the chance to be around wildlife. This project destroys that.

Please forward to us the endangered species and at-risk animals that are already living in this area. We will expand this section with your input. Contact information is at the bottom of the page.

Kanaskat - Palmer State Park Ruined

Tens of thousands of visitors come to Kanaskat-Palmer State Park from Spring through Fall. To relax, hike, camp and enjoy the water. It especially attracts those from the lower middle-class of Western Washington, those who can't afford expensive trips to see nature.

Now an eighth of a mile away from the park will be bulldozers, explosions, rock grinders, asphalt fumes, diesel trucks, all running day and night. There will be no peace, no going "back to nature" for tens of thousands of people.

Noise easily reaches Kanaskat from far distances. When the Cumberland fire station siren goes off, 2 miles away, it can be heard distinctly down in the Kanaskat camping grounds. So too can the trains that run on the tracks a quarter mile away.

The WA State Park website even warns campers about the Cumberland fire siren, which is over 2 miles away. If you visit the official Kanaskat web site, , you will see this notice:

"The local fire station uses a siren to summon volunteer firefighters for duty. The siren may be activated at any hour of the day or night and can create noisy conditions for campers and visitors. There are also BNSF tracks near the park and campers may hear train noise".

How will explosions, rock grinders, asphalt fumes, diesel trucks less than a quarter mile away affect the Kanaskat campers? Day and night, including weekends? For 35 years?

If you know who we can contact inside the State Park system to find out their views on this plant, please let us know at the email at the bottom of the page.

Green River Gorge

The Green River Gorge in Franklin, jammed right next to the gravel pits, is packed all through Spring and Summer. And not just for the beauty and fun of the river and gorge. Families from as far away as North Seattle come here for its fresh spring water. The spring water is famous throughout this area, and thousands bottle it up and take it home every weekend. And if you’ve talked with these people, you’ll realize that a very large Eastern European contingent considers this water their “secret”. Also, Crystal Springs sends a large water truck multiple times a week to fill from this Spring, sending it to people throughout Washington State and beyond.

All of this is only a quarter mile from the new gravel pits. The noise and explosion. The pollutants that will seep into the Springs.

How will we know the water has gone bad? People come from 60+ miles away to get pure water, that they can’t get anywhere else. You see their children with them all the time. At what point will we not be able to trust this water? When the tailing ponds are leaking? When the “reclaimed land” filled with bio-sludge has poisoned the water? People have been coming to these Springs for over 20 years. And how will the noise, fumes and explosions destroy the experience for the campers and hikers and kayakers coming to the Gorge?

Will there be State environmental scientists coming out every month to test the water? Are they taking baseline readings now? We know we can’t trust Segale pay-rolled “scientists” and “hydro-consultants”. This has an enormous impact on people throughout western Washington, but has barely been mentioned.

What happens 3 years from now when the scientists discover increased chemicals and pollutants in these Springs, and people stop coming? Will we have the right to shut down the entire Segale operation? They did “promise” that no leakages would happen. Or will they fight us through the legal system and their powerful political friends, who they donate so much to? They will nitpick these scientific findings to death with their $400 an hour lawyers and "experts", and leave the Springs a desert.

If you have contacts with Crystal Springs, please let us know if they have become aware of this. That a source of their income is on the verge of becoming contaminated would be of significant interest to them. A lady at the water co-op meeting brought up just this point.

Land Reclamation

From what we've gathered so far, no reclamation permit was submitted by Segale. This should be turned in so it can be evaluated.

One aspect of reclamation is returning the “contour of the land” to its original shape and fertility. Segale said that at the start of the process it would scoop up and “preserve” the top couple inches of topsoil on the land, and then use that to replace the pits 35 years from now.

How can a few inches of top soil replace pits tens of feet deep? What will actually be used to fill these areas? Contaminated waste, garbage, bio-sludge? The forest will never be able to re-grow in such an environment – usually in such situations, only scrub grasses return, at best.

Then these contaminated wastes will infiltrate our groundwater, springs and aquifer which supply Cumberland, the Green River Gorge Springs (where thousands of people get their water), and Black Diamond. It may also have serious effects on Kanaskat-Palmer State Park next door, and Deep Lake at Nolte Park a mile away. There must be an EIS performed.

The Permit Process

There were no notices in town from King County about the community meeting. It was only by word of mouth that we filled the meeting hall.

Then the rushed presentation by Segale, where we couldn't even read the slides because the font was so small. And barely an hour for the only public Q&A session for this entire project. One Hour for questions on a multi-million dollar project that will up-end our lives for the next 35 years. And not one explanation if there would ever be a Q&A again.

The only County representative at the Segale presentation was Fereshteh Dehkordi, a King County Senior Project Manager. But she didn't make a speech. She didn't explain how long the permitting process will take. She didn't explain the opportunities we would have to express ourselves over the project. She didn't tell us a website to visit to get more information.

Water Rights

Segale said they would not take ANY groundwater or aquifer water. They were emphatic about this. So where can they get the millions of gallons of water necessary for this project?

They are in negotiations with Tacoma Water to purchase these massive volumes of water. At the meeting, they said they had already had one meeting with Tacoma.

Here's the problem: what if Tacoma refuses to sell them this water? Or they only provide a fraction of the water necessary to run these operations? Where will the water come from to make up for these shortfalls?

It appears the water would have to be shipped in. Roughly 25 large water tankers a day, on top of the 500+ diesel trucks a day.

The Asphalt Plant

(Details coming soon.)

Extreme Noise

(Details coming soon.)

Our Rural Life

We paid a heavy tax to move here: one of the last rural, quiet areas of King County which isn't outrageously expensive, just significantly expensive. We purposefully came here for nature, wildlife, and for our children to experience that. But none of that counts in this equation. Our mortgages are the tax we pay to live this life. And that's going to be destroyed by this plant.

From a monetary view, this will crush our home prices, the major investment of our lives. We don't need a paid off "economist" from a lavish Seattle office to tell us we're wrong. We're right. And not one of us here doubts that.

And of course, the kids have it worst. They'll see a lovely place degenerate into soot and gravel and ugliness, without any wildlife, full of noise and smoke. What was a thriving ecosystem is now a moonscape.