Utah Inland Port Business Plan answers none of the critical questions
(May 21, 2020 – Salt Lake City, UT) – The Stop the Polluting Port Coalition (STPP) states that the Utah Inland Port Authority Board has spent two years and millions of taxpayer dollars without putting forth even the semblance of a plan. The newly released business plan (click here to read), which UIPA paid consultants $850,000 to write, falls far short of providing the information Utah taxpayers need to decide if the port is a good use of our hard-earned money.
“No ordinary business proceeds without a solid, well-thought-out plan. Leave it to our state government to spend millions on a pet project without even trying to assess its impacts or prospects,”said David Scheer, Urban Planner and Architect.
“The newly released plan is filled with a lot of words like ‘sustainable,’ ‘renewable energy,’ ‘zero-emissions,’ ‘clean technologies,’ and ‘monitoring,’ but otherwise gives us no actual information. It gives us no reason to reconsider what has been obvious since the beginning. This inland port will bring a lot more pollution and dirty energy into the Salt Lake Valley, and is exactly the wrong direction for our economic future,” said Brian Moench, President of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment.
Specifically, this plan answers none of these critical questions.
- How many new trucks and cars will this bring to our roads?
- How does UDOT plan to handle that congestion?
- How many new airplane trips?
- How many new train trips?
- How much new construction dust?
- How much new pollution from all these sources can we expect in the nearby communities and the rest of the Salt Lake Valley?
- How much electricity will be needed, and how and where will that be generated?
- What building codes, especially on energy source and usage, will be enforced?
- How will the profoundly negative impacts that have plagued other inland ports be prevented in this one?
- How will the impact on wildlife be minimized?
- How will the mosquitoes that live there now be dealt with? Will this result in widespread pesticide spraying?
- How will the stormwater runoff be handled and the contamination of the Great Salt Lake be prevented?
- How much water will the project require and where will it come from?
- How much does the viability of the whole project depend on more fossil fuel extraction from the state?
- How many permanent jobs will be created and what is the likely compensation for those jobs?
- What will the climate consequences be, and because of that will a new federal government that adheres to scientific realities create obstacles to this project ever being completed?
- Will the companies involved and tax payers have made a poor investment that ignores future realities and leaves stranded assets that will become worthless?
- What plan will be developed to deal with international smuggling and trafficking of illegal goods like drugs?
“The business plan released by the Utah Inland Port Authority describes much of the harm the port will bring, but lacks commitments to legally binding remedies,” said Deeda Seed, from the Stop the Polluting Port Coalition. “What is clearly stated in the ‘plan’ is that it’s all dependent on public financing of private business interests, such as Rio Tinto. And what that means is that we, the taxpayers, are subsidizing the harm to our communities.”
This plan must be stopped in its tracks until all these questions and concerns are addressed. Common sense suggests that the public won’t like the honest answers. And because of that, STPP members believe the people living in Salt Lake City and along the Wasatch Front are increasingly aware that they are being force fed a heavy industry future and an economic dinosaur they should resoundingly reject.
It’s time we allow the public to vote on this project rather than have special interests dictating the use of public money behind closed doors.
The Salt Lake Tribune covered the release of the UIPA business plan as well as our press release. Read article here.