Preserving the [Sequalitchew Creek] ravine is desirable, however it is not the major environmental and aesthetic threat posed by Glacier Northwest’s proposed gravel mine expansion. (See The News Tribune story here.)
The major threat posed by Glacier Northwest’s gravel mine expansion is dewatering the aquifer that sustains historic Sequalitchew Creek and Edmonds Marsh and assures the quantity and quality of DuPont’s domestic (groundwater) supply. See the attached paper on this subject (here).
The only parties that favor what Glacier Northwest has proposed in regard to dewatering the aquifer and concurrently creating a North Fork Sequalitchew Creek (i.e., a mine dewatering drainage channel) are Glacier Northwest and the Nisqually Tribe. The motive of Glacier Northwest is clear, that is, to increase the take of gravel from its mine. The motive of the Nisqually Tribe is to obtain an (artificial) migratory stream with adequate perennial flow that they believe will sustain a chum salmon population. A 500 foot long pipeline would largely negate the Nisqually Tribe’s intended use of this gravel mine drainage channel as a chum
salmon migratory stream and spawning and rearing habitat.
Not mentioned in your article is the adverse effect that dewatering the aquifer would have on the wetlands and domestic water supply of Fort Lewis, as well as the City of DuPont. I believe that you should familiarize yourself with, and reflect in any future articles on this subject, the Army’s view of Glacier Northwest’s proposal to dewater the aquifer, which is in continuity with their domestic water supply at Sequalitchew Springs.
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