Thursday, November 24, 2011

Matt Roloff's "Dirt Deal" With Intel Erupts In Controversy?

For most of 2011 Matt Roloff has been very vocal online about his "dirt deal". He began by hinting about his involvement in a huge deal with Intel. Eventually he revealed what it was. Matt and business partners purchased some swampy land and essentially are used as a dumping ground for Intel.

Intel is building a new plant. Therefore, they need a place to dump all the dirt they are digging up. Matt gets paid by Intel for allowing them to dump huge amounts of dirt onto his property. Via his Facebook Fan Page, Matt has posted several pictures of himself and his workers moving around dirt. He posted extensively about what a big project it was. During Amy's coffee chat she held during the spring, she would reference how involved Matt was with the "dirt site". Matt posted about how it was supposed to have ended, but Intel loved his site so much, that the trucks were still rolling in to dump onto his property.

Now there is an article that appeared in the Oregonian documenting the controversy that the "dirt deal" and sites like Matt's are causing. Local residents are complaining. Although Matt is not mentioned by name (or any other of the contractors that are being paid by Intel to accept dirt), it does appear to describe the same thing Matt has been doing for Intel. The Oregonian's article by Dana Tims does use a perhaps clever caption by showing one of the neighbors that is upset and describing him in the picture as being "dwarfed by huge amounts of fill excavated from Intel..."


You can read the full article here:

Here are just a few snippets of the article:

By Dana Tims, The Oregonian

The massive excavation of Intel's new D1X plant is nearing completion, but coping with hundreds of thousands of yards of material scooped and dumped around Washington County remains, both politically and aesthetically, a muddy mess.

Frantic attempts to meet the chip maker's tight construction deadlines overwhelmed the county's permitting process for dealing with excavated materials. As a result, some soils were improperly placed in wetlands, prompting the county for the first time in its history to revoke a fill permit.

Other Intel fill sites appear to contain extensive amounts of construction fabric, large rocks and other materials not allowed under county fill standards.

Some county farmers are griping that a fast-tracked permitting process resulted in huge "dirt dumps" smothering prime agricultural sites.

Enlarging the footprint at Intel's Ronler Acres campus near Hillsboro Stadium, however, also meant that 780,000 cubic yards of soil -- enough to fill 30,000 dump trucks -- needed to be hauled elsewhere. From an economic standpoint, shorter hauls mean valuable savings in trucking costs and quicker turnaround times for the next trip.

When the digging began in earnest, huge quantities of earth rapidly started filling Washington County farmland. The most visible site is adjacent to land that Bob Vanderzanden, a long-time Washington County Farm Bureau member, has farmed for decades.

Vanderzanden watched in stunned silence in March as truckload after truckload rolled west along U.S. 26 before turning onto Northwest Victory Lane to dump as much as 150,000 cubic yards of excavated spoils. The property owner's permit indicated that he needed the material to "enhance agricultural production capability."

Since then, a portion of the soil facing the land Vanderzanden leases to grow red clover has sloughed southward, partially blocking a drainage ditch. An open ditch is one of the permit's conditions of approval.

"This is the worst possible case of cut and fill you could possibly think of," Vanderzanden said, pointing toward rolling earthen mounds that are 15 feet in height or taller. "To call it an agricultural fill is crazy in my opinion."

Susan Benyowitz, an owner of the land Vanderzanden leases, has filed two complaints with the county. She claims that improper drainage caused by the blocked ditch is resulting in extensive pooling on her property.

"We're talking about just a massive, massive amount of dirt," she said."

Intel had nothing to do with selecting fill sites, said Bill McKenzie, the company's communications manager. That was left to a subcontractor responsible for excavation and the "off haul" process of delivering materials to fill sites permitted by Washington County.

County officials acknowledge that some things went wrong, in large part because they were swamped by having to find suitable places to dispose of the spoils quickly.

"It's a challenge," said Stephen Roberts, a spokesman. "But part of that challenge is weighing what someone can do on their property against protecting public interests. If we're all lucky, there will be another Intel project at some point and we can be better prepared for the next round. That's our goal."

Yet county planners are adamant that Intel fill permits were not "fast-tracked."

"We don't have an option like that available to us," said Nadine Smith Cook, principal county planner. "We certainly recognized that timing was involved that made them our first priority, but there was no other disconnect between these permits and any others we might have received."

5 comments:

Janet said...

I kind of wondered about that when Matt kept posting pictures of endless mountains of dirt. I thought it must be horrible to be a neighbor. I didn't even think about the drainage ditch issues, the dust alone would be a nightmare and would have me complaining.

David said...

This kind of thing shows you what Matt does. He post a cutesy Facebook message about "A bath for the truck wheels" and adoring fans shower him with praise "you're so smart Matt!"

Want to bet that after 7 months, after being swamped with complaints that the road must now look like a dirt road because of all the mud coming from the trucks after they pull in to Dirt Mountain, that this is one of Matt's solutions?

Rap541 said...

Well, based on Matt's on screen interactions, he only seems to do things like the wheel washing because he's forced to.

jreyes said...

Well, as far as I see from watching the show Matt does what he wants. If he spent half the time on family vacations as he does doing deals maybe i would have i higher reapect for him. Anyone who calls their spouse lazy on national tv has NO respect. He doesnt deserve the family he has been blessed with. Amy you are a saint to stay married to a selfish man for so long

jreyes said...

Well, as far as I see from watching the show Matt does what he wants. If he spent half the time on family vacations as he does doing deals maybe i would have i higher reapect for him. Anyone who calls their spouse lazy on national tv has NO respect. He doesnt deserve the family he has been blessed with. Amy you are a saint to stay married to a selfish man for so long