Union backs pit-to-pier project with yard sign campaign

PORT TOWNSEND – Yard signs proclaiming “We Need Jobs” and “We Need A Healthy Environment” have sprung up in East Jefferson County, an International Union of Operating Engineers Local 302’s campaign in support of Fred Hill Materials’ proposed pit-to-pier project.

The signs also include the acronym “NIMBY” crossed out in red, a knock against those who embrace the attitude of “not in my back yard,” said Darren Konopaski, district representative for the Silverdale-based union.

About 200 of the signs have been placed in high-visibility locations, at the sides of streets and in yards throughout East Jefferson County, Konopaski said.

“We’re fighting for good, wage-paying jobs in Jefferson County,” Konopaski said.

The union represents between 700 and 1,000 employees who live on the North Olympic Peninsula.

About 20 union employees work at Fred Hill Materials’ Shine gravel pit, Konopaski said.

The Fred Hill pit-to-pier project proposes a four-mile-long conveyor belt from the Shine gravel pit to a 950-foot pier extending into Squamish Harbor on Hood Canal.

Barges would be loaded with gravel from the pier, as proposed, eliminating truckloads of material transported off the North Olympic Peninsula.

A meeting to help determine the scope of an environmental impact statement for the project will be Sept. 27 at the Fort Worden State Park Commons.

A presentation will be given on the project at 4 p.m., and public comments will be taken at 6 p.m.

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