The Olympian recently had an even-handed front page article, explaining the controversy between Nisqually Valley neighbors and Lakeside Industries. Lakeside Industries wants to store and process recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) on the permeable floor of Holroyd’s gravel mine. Many valley neighbors don’t want this because the floor of the pit is only 15 to 20 feet above the water table.
RAP is not inert. All you have to do is Google “recycled asphalt pavement storage” and all kinds of information about dangers leaching into the ground water shows up. There would also be an increase in truck traffic by those bringing RAP to the valley through neighborhood roads. There is some question about how long the pit will last without importing gravel into the mine, which is controversial, or mining 100 feet below the water table of an aquifer.
Last Sunday, The Olympian, produced an editorial that was totally pro-RAP with no consideration for the down side. It ignored decades of efforts to save the only river in this country that starts in a national park and ends in a national wildlife refuge. It ignored the purpose of the 1992 Nisqually Sub-Area Plan, which was Thurston County’s initial response to the 1990 state Growth Management Act.
RAP is obviously a good thing, but care is required as to where and how it is processed.