Along the Snohomish River in northeast Everett, Interwest Construction, Inc is planning a base where concrete will be recycled, stored and sold. (Lizz Giordano / The Herald)

Along the Snohomish River in northeast Everett, Interwest Construction, Inc is planning a base where concrete will be recycled, stored and sold. (Lizz Giordano / The Herald)

Proposed concrete recycling plant clears largest hurdle

The hearing examiner’s decision requires Interwest Construction Inc. to complete a noise study.

EVERETT — An Everett hearing examiner has approved a special land use permit that clears the way for a concrete recycling plant to be built along the Snohomish River in the northeastern part of the city.

On a 13.8-acre site, down a steep ravine from the Riverside neighborhood, Interwest Construction Inc. is planning a base where concrete will be recycled, stored and sold.

“We are excited to move ahead and get started,” said Roy Swihart, vice president of operations.

With the approval of the permit the project has cleared its largest hurdle, Swihart said.

This would be the only concrete recycling plant in the city, according to the hearing examiner.

Some Riverside residents pushed back against the project, worried it would bring in silica dust — a byproduct of recycling concrete — and noise pollution.

They also questioned if Interwest would be a good neighbor after crews began working on the site before the proper permits were obtained. This resulted in the Burlington-based company being issued two stop work orders.

Hearing examiner Sharon Rice’s recent ruling laid out several conditions, including having a noise study done.

City staff recommended the analysis due to the noise complaints from neighbors during the unauthorized work and because of the expected sounds from recycling concrete, according to the ruling.

A third party is required to do the study. If it shows volumes exceeding what is permitted, Interwest will have to take further measures. This could include using different equipment, the construction of sound walls or enclosing operations.

An Everett safety official expects the project will have similar sound impacts to nearby neighborhoods as the Cadman facility on Glenwood Avenue, according to email testimony submitted to the hearing examiner. The official went on to state that resolving noise complaints at that location has been difficult because readings need to be taken onsite by a qualified person.

That step worries Logan Daniels, a Riverside resident.

“I’m concerned that it will take nonstop complaints and potentially financial resources to have any effect,” Daniels said in an email.

The construction firm also must use broadband back-up alarms, which make a squelching sound rather than a piercing beep, according to the decision.

Bill McFerren, a nearby resident, called the hearing examiner’s ruling a disappointment. He hopes the city will hold Interwest to the promises made about noise and dust control.

“We will be watching,” he said.

The construction firm still needs to obtain permits from the state Department of Ecology and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. Interwest has said it plans to use water to keep down silica dust.

If the project is built, concrete crushing will happen between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, according to the company.

Interwest purchased the land in April from Kimberly-Clark Corp. The parcel is zoned for heavy manufacturing. Next door to the property, Penske Truck Leasing is planning an unrelated vehicle servicing area.

Lizz Giordano: 425-374-4165; egiordano@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @lizzgior.

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