To facilitate fact-based discussion about Lakeside Industries’ application to relocate its Covington asphalt facility to the Industrial-zoned site on state Route 169, I would like to address some seriously inaccurate statements in a recent letter to the editor in the Covington Maple Valley Reporter.
We suggest that interested parties review the detailed Lakeside Application and the numerous related studies that are being considered by King County. This detailed information will answer many of your questions and it is helpful in understanding Lakeside’s proposal.
We understand why there may be concern regarding potential adverse effects from the facility on the water quality in the Cedar River. The Lakeside proposal will clean up a site that has been significantly degraded by a century of prior industrial uses. To that end, we will restore all the wetland and stream buffers and actually create new future salmon habitat. We will treat and infiltrate 100 percent of the stormwater on the site that currently runs untreated into the river. Lakeside is a locally based, fourth-generation company, and our grandparents, parents, my brothers and sisters, and our children all highly value our salmon and orcas. Our plans for the protection of the Cedar River are being praised by the experts.
We intend to improve the traffic conditions on SR 169 adjacent to the site. Trucks have been exiting and entering the site for several decades. We will add a new deceleration and acceleration lane adjacent to the property so the highway will operate better than it has functioned in the past. Our facility is located on a state highway to reduce traffic in residential neighborhoods, and to bring us closer to projects, which ultimately reduces our carbon footprint. Under rare circumstances when the highway has the most traffic and when the facility is operating at maximum production, the wait time at the closest signalized intersections will increase by one to two seconds. Most of the time, the facility will not generate the number of trucks analyzed for the worst-case conditions.
It was claimed that the facility would be subject to landslides. That, too, is incorrect. Studies of the hillside behind the facility, in fact, show that, both historically and as projected, the hillside is stable, and the claimed landslide activity has occurred south of the site. Nevertheless, the site will be protected from landslides.
Contrary to another inaccurate statement, the site will not affect the wells of King County Water District No. 90. Those wells are a half mile away, on the opposite side of the river. Expert analysis, including analysis by the district’s own engineer, show that the district wells are in a different aquifer than the proposed site and thus will not be affected by our operation.
Lakeside facilities are good neighbors in other communities in the state. We contribute to local charitable organizations as a matter of principle, and our employees live in the communities where they work. Several of our operations are located in communities where residents and businesses are much closer to our facilities than will be the case in Maple Valley. We will be good community and environmental stewards at the new facility. All we ask is that folks base their opinions on the facts so we can have a productive discussion and, in the end, be an even better neighbor in Maple Valley.
President of Lakeside Industries