Another new polluting port – Beaver County

“Beaver County gets an inland port, with Tooele next in line,” last Saturday’s Tribune article headline states. The four sections of the “Mineral Mountains” port in Beaver County amount to just under 20,000 acres. This is the sixth port passed to date, with more on the horizon. 

“The impacts of this proposed massive industrial development on water quantity and quality are a huge concern as Tooele County relies on wells for water,” members of the Stop the Polluting Port Coalition wrote in a news release ahead of UIPA’s meeting this week. “Also, the Tooele Valley is part of the hydrological system that fills the Great Salt Lake, which is in crisis.”

Beaver County borders Iron County, where approximately 899 acres was allocated to UIPA in April of this year for the “Iron Springs” Port. The Port in SLC consists of 16,000 acres.  

These ports continue to pass through city and county councils with little notice or acknowledgment of public input, despite that the port is funded through the taxpayer. They pass without environmental impact statements or human health risk assessments being conducted or without even a clear business plan. 

One of the major concerns raised is the scarcity of water resources in Beaver County (and Utah as a whole), making it challenging to support various industries and businesses. This limitation could and should hinder the county’s ability to industrialize.

The use of diesel freight trucks for transporting goods to and from these inland ports raise concerns over increased fossil fuel emissions. These emissions contribute to air pollution and climate change. Although the Inland Port is emphasizing freight via train, locomotives in Utah use some of the dirtiest energy around. 

Taxpayer money should not be used to subsidize industries that contribute to pollution and environmental degradation. That money should be used to prioritize the health and quality of life of the state’s residents.

Find the full Tribune article here.