King County's Press Release
But to the Woodinville residents that were there and who are fighting to prevent a disaster that could kill thousands of people, this King County release is pure fiction.
UNINFORMED CONSENT, Woodinville, WA - As grading began this week under a shower of public outcry at the King County Executive's pet $1.62 billion biosolid treatment plant known as Brightwater, some USGS officials were allowed for a short time Thursday to examine King County's light trenching.
A small team of USGS officials were given one day's notice that Thursday would be the only day the trenches would be available. The trenches would be filled in the next day. The team included Brian Sherrod, Craig Weaver, and several others. Sherrod is a USGS paleoseismologist and researcher at the University of Washington's Earth and Space Sciences Department. Weaver is a U.S. Geological Survey seismologist and director. Some others at the USGS had planned to come to Seattle to participate but were not given enough notice.
Tim Walsh, a state geologist, was notified by the USGS so he could join them at the site but was refused access by King County officials. By law, King County has no right to refuse entry to the trenches by a State representative. Walsh is Chief Geologist of the Division of Geology and Earth Resources for the Washington Department of Natural Resources.
USGS officials described their 5 hour observations of geological evidence in the trench as tectonic or resulting from structural deformation of the earth crust, including seismic events such as massive earthquakes. In particular, they observed clear seismic evidence of high angle surface faults, liquefaction and folding.
However, King County's hired expert, Dr. Jeff Keaton, interpreted the observed features as periglacial or related to glaciation (glacier activity) and not active faulting. Keaton is a California based geotechnical engineer recently hired to support King County's public defense that the site is safe.
In scientific geological circles, when there is disagreement in opinions, both interpretations are considered and then weighed against each other. This is a geological standard called a logic-tree analysis. However though Keaton was in the presence of some of the most respected seismic experts in the world, he would not consider any other view but his own.
In just one day, many of Keaton's own peers say his interpretations are incapable of being defended. It appears that the normally quiet scientific geological community is swirling with outrage as Keaton breaks rank. Keaton, a formally respected engineer, is quickly being surrounded by those who hold the integrity of the science dear. Some are outright distraught at his participation in what appears to be a cover-up.
The King County project boasts of a 15-mile tunnel delivery system recently admitted at a King County presentation in Woodinville as representing $1 billion dollars of the $1.62 billion project current estimates.
According to King County's website, Kenny/Shea/Traylor, A Joint Venture of Wheeling, Ill, in a joint venture with Jacobs Civil (who contributed $1,350 to Executive Sim's 2005 campaign) was awarded this lucrative contract in December 29, 2005.
Critics say the tunnel route also crosses numerous identified faults outside the HWY 9 treatment plant site.
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