Sen. Escamilla’s bill could be crucial for health of inland port-adjacent communities

Those following the Inland Port have noticed that while the project is harmful to Utah as a whole, its effects are especially egregious to its neighbors – many of whom come from diverse backgrounds. Elevated risk from the port in these neighborhoods creates a dangerous case of environmental justice.

An op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune advocates for SB 136, Air Quality Policy Amendments, citing environmental justice. “For at least a decade there has been much published public health data documenting the damage to those who live with daily exposure to diesel truck and train exhaust — aggravated asthma, lung cancer, heart disease, neurologic disorders, premature births, and significantly shortened life expectancy” Christopher Erickson wrote to the Tribune. 

The Inland Port is a threat to public health, bringing an estimated 2,000 extra diesel truck trips per day to the Wasatch Front, and 3,300 extra car trips. This not only clogs up our highways and roads, but drastically increases dangerous emissions, damaging our air quality and public health. On top of the increased emissions, the Port endangers bird species, brings increased pesticide spraying the Great Salt Lake wetlands, and brings satellite ports, spreading pollution even further across Utah. 

We at UPHE have been heavily involved in the campaign against the port for the exact reasons listed by Erickson. Please urge your Legislators to support SB 136 and protect the communities most at risk. 

Read the full op-ed here.