Letter to the Editor: Comments on road project, asphalt plant

CalTrans’ plan for an extensive road improvement project along the Hwy 70 corridor in Eastern Plumas County will require many truckloads of asphalt.  Improving local roads is a positive gain.  Such efforts work to increase recreation tourism which can assist to build the local economy.  However, placing an asphalt plant and lime kiln in Delleker works against any positive gain for three main reasons: water, air, and community safety.

The site proposed for the asphalt plant is along the Middle Fork of the Feather River on a flood plain.  The Middle Fork of the Feather River is designated as a Wild & Scenic River with the intention of maintaining its integrity and the area surrounding it.  Placing this asphalt and lime industrial complex along its edge seems to be a threat to this goal, exposing the river to industrial contamination.  This river is drinking water for 27 million Californians downstream and wildlife at its edge and beyond.  The industrial pollution will also endanger recreationists who use the water for sporting interests.  Does the California Division of Drinking Water of the State Water Resources Control Board support this intrusion?

The City of Portola and surrounding area have been classified as having dangerously poor air quality.  The North Sierra Air Quality Management District (NSAQMD)has been hard at work assisting residents to alleviate this situation.  Swapping out old wood stoves for more efficient “cleaner” burning stoves has been an important effort to correct this situation. Inserting air contamination from an asphalt plant and lime kiln with PM 2.5 micron particles that HCC admits will be emitted, endangers this progress.  Daytime winds from the west will drive hazardous air pollutants towards Portola and further east.  Night winds from the east will drive it back down the river course towards Graeagle.  During the summer months, this poor air quality will compete with the unfortunate occurrence of wildfire smoke.  Does the NSAQMD approve of this action?

Placing an asphalt plant and lime kiln on the Delleker Road will have another important detrimental effect–endangering community safety and well-being.  This road provides access to several businesses that support the needs of the local community. It is already home to many large businesses that depend on transport traveling in and out on this road several times a day.  The Hat Creek Construction states it will need 150 truckloads of travel during a 12 hour period five days a week.  That is a truck and trailer going in or carrying out cargo on that road every five minutes for 12 hours. Add in White Cap concrete, Intermountain Disposal, Plumas Sanitation, Crescent Tow, High Sierra Propane and Les Schwab Tire Center transport trucks with the challenge of the Delleker Road intersection at Hwy 70 and you have gridlock. There is also the necessity of transporting materials to the asphalt plant/lime kiln for production–more traffic. This situation will block access to the other businesses along the road. Along with this traffic jam, there is the hazardous intersection at Hwy 70 and Delleker Road threatening travelers’ lives. With this excessive traffic comes noise pollution, vibration intensity, and dust.  Conditions such as these make working in these businesses as an employee and accessing these businesses as a customer unhealthy and unsafe. Will the livelihood of these businesses be threatened? The County must protect the businesses that support the local community and provide the County with tax revenue.


Placing an asphalt plant and lime kiln on Delleker Road only benefits one entity–Hat Creek Construction.  Their Mitigated Negative Declaration Statement is filled with inaccuracies and oversights.  Please respect the citizens who have supported Plumas County through property and sales tax, businesses, employment, local consumerism, services, and charitable causes.  Protect the livelihood and health of Eastern Plumas County citizens and their environment.  Reject this proposal for an asphalt plant and lime kiln on Delleker Road.



Valari Simson

Portola Resident 45 years