Inland Port Board Meeting

The Utah Inland Port Authority Board of Directors met last week, the first time since October 2019. Dozens of concerned residents spoke out in opposition of the polluting port, including Dr. Brian Moench and Jonny Vasic, quoted in the Salt Lake Tribune, of UPHE.

Promises that the project will be “sustainable” or “green” aren’t enough, they said Wednesday, to alleviate community fears about the harms it will inflict on the Great Salt Lake and community near the inland port.

“The strategic business plan looks pretty and has a lot of nice words like ‘sustainable,’ ‘smart technology,’ ‘clean technology,’ ‘holistic,’ but the plan is basically void of any specifics,” said Johnny Vasic, executive director of Utah Physicians for Healthy Environment.

Read full coverage from the Salt Lake Tribune here, as well as coverage from KSL here (see some below).

Lee Stanhope, of Salt Lake City, urged the port authority board to reject the business plan.

“While it contains a lot of wonderful ideas of what a green or sustainable future can be, it consistently uses terms like ‘supports,’ ‘promotes,’ ‘advocates for’ and ‘coordinates with’ without actually requiring that any of these events occur,” he said.

Sarah Buck was skeptical the port authority would actually get approval to use its revenue for sustainable programs.

“Have you worked with our Legislature?” she said. “I don’t think you’re going to have a lot of money for green incentives.”

Other critics accused port authority officials of “green washing” the project, despite the fact it would be placed in a city among those that have the worst air quality in the country.

“This is the worst place for an inland port, and trying to green wash it will not change it,” said Liz Buirley.