An aerial view from December 2019 of the mining operation of the Triangle Property. (Photo courtesy of Tyner Associates)

An aerial view from December 2019 of the mining operation of the Triangle Property. (Photo courtesy of Tyner Associates)

Bainbridge asks state agencies to follow up on permit for mining on Triangle Property

Bainbridge Island officials are asking the state Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Ecology to make sure the operators of a mining site known as the “Triangle Property” are abiding by the permit they received from the state.

Neighbors to the Triangle Property, which is located at the intersection of Fletcher Bay and Lynwood Center roads, have been concerned that the sand-mining operation has been out of compliance with a permit issued by the DNR in 2009.

The permit for mining at the site was originally issued to Nelson Wood & Glass, but was transferred to Liden Land Development & Excavation in 2014, according to the city, and neighbors are worried that the Poulsbo-based company is working outside the scope of its permit, and that the expanded mining may impact groundwater in the area.

Bainbridge Island City Manager Morgan Smith sent letters Thursday to officials at Ecology and DNR, asking the agencies to take action.

“It has come to the city’s attention that the operator of [Triangle Property] may be in violation of state and local regulations regarding the types of activities on the site, the extent and location of the activities occurring on the site, and the reporting requirements associated with those activities,” Smith wrote in a Feb. 6 letter to Rachel McCrae, Water Quality Section Manager for Ecology.

“The city is seeking action, as applicable, from the state agencies involved in regulating the site,” Smith added.

In a letter sent to Rian Skov, a chief reclamation geologist at DNR, Smith noted the entire island is considered an aquifer recharge area, and that new mines are prohibited in such areas.

“The city of Bainbridge Island has significant concerns regarding compliance with project conditions of approval, including but not limited to impacts that mining activities may have on the groundwater supply if monitoring standards are not complied with,” Smith wrote. “The city is seeking direct and timely action by DNR.”

City officials said Friday that after “several weeks of fact-finding and research, the city has identified multiple, specific concerns related to DNR’s enforcement of project conditions for the DNR mining and reclamation permit, and [Ecology’s] regulation of the [Ecology] Sand and Gravel General Permit.”

Bainbridge officials also said the operator of the mine, Liden Land Development & Excavation, contacted Bainbridge “and indicated their intent to complete soils testing at the site in order to clarify the condition of fill that has been placed on the property.”

Additionally, officials stressed that there is “no indication from the regulatory agencies that a direct threat to public health or safety exists related to the activities on this site.”

Many of the concerns that have been raised by residents center on reporting and testing.

The city has asked DNR to issue a revised State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) determination that addresses current activities and conditions on the site.

Bainbridge is also asking DNR to require the mine operator to submit a Clean Soils Report to document the source of imported fill materials.

Bainbridge also wants DNR to formally determine if any violations on the site have occurred with the DNR permit that was issued that allows mining.

The city has asked Ecology to provide copies of the project’s Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, Spill Control Plan, Sediment Control Plan, and Discharge Monitoring Plan.

City officials also want Ecology to address “what appears to be incorrect information in the permit application and possibly other associated documents, including that the work being performed is not located within a sole source aquifer, and not within a wellhead protection area.”

The letters sent to DNR and Ecology are available at the city website at www.bainbridgewa.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=622.

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