County approves flood plain permit

The last time I wrote an update about Grand Island’s efforts to stop a quarry, we were awaiting our appeal of Baker Rock’s flood plain permit before the Yamhill County Commissioners.

Members of Protect Grand Island Farms (PGIF) and their expert witnesses testified in front of the Commissioners on February 9. Testimony was offered regarding the legal requirements of the Yamhill County ordinance, the thoroughness of the hydrology studies in accounting for the Flood Way under encroached conditions, and more.

The Commissioners waited to vote until their March 2 meeting. Although two out of three Commissioners voiced disapproval of the quarry project, all stated that they felt they were legally obligated to approve the permit under the existing ordinance and with the evidence as submitted. They voted unanimously against the appeal and in favor of upholding the permit.

The members of PGIF are now turning their attention back to the complicated ongoing state and federal level permitting processes. According to a letter sent to Baker Rock from the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI), both NOAA and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife have expressed major concerns about the proposed quarry and are asking Baker Rock to revisit their fish channel and reclamation plans. The quarry is far from being a done deal, and PGIF is watching the process closely to make sure that we can provide citizen input to all the involved agencies.

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