The Inland Port expands its impact – Cedar City to Tooele

The Utah Inland Port just approved the creation of a new project area, consisting of nearly 900 acres outside of Cedar City. The Iron Springs Port will provide unnecessary tax breaks (up to $83 million) to port developers, Savage Services and Commerce Crossroads. Savage Services previously denied to the Salt Lake Tribune that their plans for a rail terminal in Cedar City were related to the Inland Ports’ operations. 

“The port authority expects to collect close to $100 million in local property taxes over 25 years. It will issue 10% of those funds to affordable housing projects. Another 5% will go to UIPA’s own administrative costs. The remainder goes to Commerce Crossroads and Savage Services to help build infrastructure and recruit businesses, according to the plan,” a Salt Lake Tribune article reported on funding for the project. Why are taxpayer funds being used to fund a project that residents will see no benefit from?

Traffic is not the only harmful effect of increasing diesel trucks on the highways. Exposure to diesel exhaust can lead to serious health conditions like asthma and respiratory illnesses and can worsen existing heart and lung disease

Savage Services has deep roots in coal, and concerns are being raised that coal and alfalfa will be the predominant items shipped from this port. Not only is Utah’s water-intensive alfalfa market contributing to our ever-growing drought, but extracting and burning coal directly contributes to harmful air quality and climate change.

Ports throughout the state will have impacts on us all. As projects like these get approved, we can expect to see more diesel trucks clogging up our highways and decreasing our air quality. 

We aren’t sure why freight transferring is being touted as Utah’s source for ‘economic development,’ but we’d like to remind developers and lawmakers that the cost of cleaning up our air, conserving water, and mitigating the impacts of climate change are going to outweigh any monetary influx from these developments

Tooele County Council met last night on a resolution to create a Utah Inland Port Authority Project Area in Tooele County. Please stay alert for opportunities to get involved.

“I think they feel like it’s much easier to get stuff pushed through in rural counties where a lot of people don’t know what’s going on,” local resident Teri Durfee told Fox13 on the potential of a Port in Tooele. “We have Energy Solutions, it’s in our county. We have Dugway Proving Grounds. And we’ve had Tooele Army Depot, where there are still issues with ammunition and leaks, and so I think that we’ve had our fair share.”

Salt Lake Tribune article.

Fox13 article.