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Groundhog Day returns to the Bald Hills 30 years later – Sludge dumping proposed here again!

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Editor’s note: Thirty years ago in 1989, Yelm area residents unified in opposition to a proposal to dump Seattle’s sludge (sewer biosolids) on acreage in the pristine Bald Hills. I joined JZ Knight, Linda Evans and so many others from a broad cross-section of citizens in summer 1989 for a very public fight and protest that reached the Olympia Capitol steps and made international news. The sludge would be trucked down from Seattle bringing major traffic to area roadways to spray the sludge on land purchased between Smith Prairie Rd. and the Owl Pit. The proposal was defeated because of the public outcry!

This area is very close to a new site proposed to dump biosolids here yet again! The Washington State Department of Ecology has announced a public hearing set for January 24, 2019, 6pm, at the Yelm Senior Center,
16530 103rd Ave SE, Yelm, WA.

Fire Mountain Farms, Inc.

Public meeting and hearing: Biosolids land application site proposed near Yelm. Click here for details.

Bottom line:

Let’s repeat history and show the applicant and Ecology officials that they are not welcome in considering to dump sludge on our pristine lands once again, and so close to the Nisqually River!

“Keeping the ‘Pride of the Prairie'”

“Concerns about sludge remain strong. The worries first surfaced a year ago, when a group called Nisqually Valley Neighbors for a Contaminant-Free Prairie announced its existence at the annual Prairie Days parade.

Such well-known Yelm area residents as actress Linda Evans and channeler J.Z. Knight have argued passionately against a proposed sludge disposal project on timberland in the Bald Hills. They fear chemicals and heavy metals in the sludge could pollute both groundwater and the nearby Nisqually.”


Click here for the story by Brad Sevetson, The Olympian, August 13, 1989.

Posted by Steve on January 9, 2019 at 12:01 am | Permalink

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3 comments

  1. Hi Steve, Wasn’t it the sludge issue where we took 2-3 busloads of us up to Seattle to march and carry signs saying No to accepting all of Seattle’s sewage/sludge and having it dumped on a property on Bald Hill Rd? We marched and chanted. And at some point a rainbow formed over the building/block we were marching in front of?

    Comment by Teri Simpson on January 18, 2019 at 12:11 pm

  2. Yes, I made a presentation today to the Nisqually River Council for a historical perspective about that 1989 march on the State Capitol building grounds.

    Comment by Steve on January 18, 2019 at 5:34 pm

  3. Hi Steve,

    Along with the toxin issues, and the aquafers, and rivers, and wildlife, what about the ROADS?

    So far I have not heard or seen anything from Thurston Co Public Works saying that they will gladly re-engineer and replace Bald Hill Rd up to and including 128th once they are destroyed by heavy traffic from the Fire Mountain trucks. I’d bet that they were never designed/engineered for that heavy traffic. I can’t imagine that 128th was built/constructed to handle 40-50 Class 8 dump trucks full of sludge every day (even if only for a few months each year) year after year. 128th was most likely engineered for passenger vehicles and pickup trucks, farm tractors, and the like. Does 128th have shoulders on the road (like out Bald Hills Rd there are no shoulders after a certain point). Is it even legal to have 40-50 50-ton trucks running up and down such a road?

    My question would be – is Fire Mountain putting in writing (I haven’t finished all 175 pgs yet) that once their many Class 8 trucks destroy the pavement/road that is 128th, are they going to replace that road so that those property owners on 128th won’t be driving on a “road from hell”? Has Thurston Co Public Works stated that they will be happy to replace 128th and Bald Hill Rd once Fire Mountain destroys the roads? What about Bald Hill Rd? Was Bald Hill Rd engineered to take that kind of pounding from Class 8 trucks filled to the brim with sludge? BH Rd was designed to accommodate personal vehicles and a certain number of logging trucks. Will it be Thurston Co Public Works or Fire Mountain that foots the bill when both county roads need to be completely torn out and replaced with roads that were engineered for that massive traffic?

    Thanks for all you are doing!

    Teri

    Comment by Teri Simpson on January 28, 2019 at 8:27 pm

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