Public meeting on proposed gravel mine this Tuesday

Segale Properties wants to open a 990-acre gravel mine that touches the Green River and county- and state-protected recreational lands; locals are concerned about environmental and quality of life impacts chemicals, noise, and traffic can bring.

Correction: Coal mining around Black Diamond ended in 1999, not 1989. The online article has been corrected.

A public meeting about a proposed gravel mine outside Black Diamond is being held Feb. 27 at Black Diamond Elementary, from 6 to 8 p.m.

The mine, to be operated by Tuckwilla-based Segale Properties LLC, would be locatedeast of the city and north of Cumberland, and would bump up against county and state-owned recreational areas and the Green River as it flows out of Kanaskat-Palmer State Park.

But a grassroots movement appears to be forming to resist the mine due to potential impacts to the environment and the quality of life for residents in the rural area.

“Coal mining in the area ended in 1999… mining needs to stay in our past,” said Zach Pratt, a local geologist, blogger, and upcoming leader in the fight against Segale. “People are moving to the western Washington area… for our natural beauty, and while I don’t necessarily plan on having kids, it is something I want to preserve for people.”

According Segale’s State Environmental Police Act (SEPA) checklist, which will be reviewed by King County to determine whether or not the gravel mine will have an impact on the local environment and what future steps might need to be taken to mitigate those impacts, the proposed the 990-acre mine (just about 33 Lumen Fields) would open in 2026, and would be in operation for at least 25 years. That 990 acres includes non-mining areas.

The proposed mine would be split into four different sections — north, south, east, and west — surrounding a Department of Natural Resources property that Segale does not own, but is accessed by locals for recreation, and there is worry that access to this public land would be cut off.

Other concerns include the levelling of a popular hill (called Lizard Mountain), groundwater contamination, and traffic impacts on rural roads, just to name a few.

However, Segale Properties Asset Manager Mike Pruett said “a lot of misinformation” is being shared among community members.

“I understand why the community would have questions about this development,” he said. “We are here to explain what we can to the community and work with them as best as we can to address their legitimate concerns while maintaining our property rights.”

While the Segale-led meeting on the Feb. 27 appears to be the only community meeting planned for this issue so far, the public comment period for this mine application ends March 12.

To review environmental review documents related to the application, head to and click “GRDE23-0083”.

To submit a comment on the proposal, call SEPA Permit Project Manager Fereshteh Dehkordi at 206-477- 8479 or e-mail her at