Opposition to the Spanish Fork Inland Port speaking out at town hall
The Daily Herald covered Conserve Utah Valley’s public town hall on the proposed Spanish Fork Inland Port last week. UIPA has been working on creating multiple “mini-ports” across the state, with Spanish Fork being one of the intended locations.
A resolution supporting the port was approved by the Spanish Fork City Council with little consideration for residents’ input. This has been a consistent issue with Port projects, who have been accused of “sketchy” back-room deals starting with the establishment of the first Port in Salt Lake City.
The Spanish Fork Port is concerning to residents for the same reasons Salt Lake City residents had concerns, including air quality, climate change, subsidies for private businesses, and increased traffic from freight trucks.
Byron Adams, biology department chair at BYU, raised environmental concerns with the Spanish Fork Port, citing “ozone pollution (in parts per billion), of which the area was found to be in the 94th percentile nationally, and wastewater discharge, of which the area is in the 99th percentile. He also addressed two impacts to the area itself. The first being the soil, which he explained is “highly productive” and some of the best for agricultural production, and secondly the people the development would most impact.”
The transportation sector is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, and expanding freight activities in the area would contribute to the region’s carbon footprint. This contradicts efforts and expressed priorities to reduce emissions and combat climate change.