Inject Salt Lake City environmental priorities into the Utah Inland Port

Photo of a section of the Utah Inland Port. Photo by Jack Bozarth.

UPHE has been opposed to the Utah Inland Port since its conception, due to the inevitable pollution a port brings to its area. A recent op-ed by UPHE member, Katie Pappas, in the Salt Lake Tribune expresses a few more reasons to be wary of the project. 

“Over the last four years opposition has grown and a long list of undesirable impacts have been identified. That list includes: impacts to air, soil and water quality, human health, wildlife and bird habitat and the Great Salt Lake and surrounding wetlands. Noise and light pollution, increased pesticide spraying and construction dust are also concerns.”

Last legislative session, Utah passed HB443, which removed local representation from the Utah Inland Port Authority Board. This effectively made the Port a case of taxation without representation. Although it also slightly decreased the amount of public funds used for the port, taxpayer money should not be used at all to subsidize a project that will worsen our quality of life and further pollute our city

HB443 also requires UIPA to negotiate a contract with Salt Lake City. UPHE supports Pappas in urging Mayor Mendenhall and the City Council to negotiate the best possible contract terms for Salt Lake City. The City is being exposed to increased emissions, ozone levels out of compliance with national standards, increased noise and sound pollution and overall decreased quality of life with the Inland Port’s existence

“Traffic and human health studies, which should have been done long ago, would provide the city with valuable information. This contract will determine the direction port development will take going forward. Please remember this Mayor Mendenhall and the City Council. You are now the only representation that residents of the Salt Lake Valley have in this future altering project. It’s on you to do everything in your power to get it right” Katie Pappas wrote.

Please call or email the Mayor’s office and emphasize the importance of reducing impacts of the Port, and representing the interests of the public when it comes to UIPA. 

Read the op-ed here.