Not In Our Community!
OUR POSITION STATEMENT AND WHY WE OPPOSE THE PROPOSED HITEST SILICON/SMELTER/METALS PROCESSING FACILITIES
We, “Responsible Growth * NE Washington”, and residents of south Pend Oreille County and adjacent Bonner County, incorporated and unincorporated, who oppose the proposed Newport Silicon Metal Processing Smelter, go on the record in opposition of the Facility. We base this opposition on several factors, which are not limited to areas mentioned below:
1) We are opposed to HiTest Silicon Smelter/Metals Processing Facilities due to the fact it is in total violation of Pend Oreille County Comprehensive Plan,” which emphasizes that any economic development should “protect the environment and enhance the state’s high quality of life, including air and water quality and the availability of water.” The Plan also states, “New development should be of a suitable scale and compatible with the rural character of our community….”
2) We are opposed to HiTest Silicon Smelter/Metals Processing Facilities due to the fact that Pend Oreille County, City of Newport and the surrounding areas do not have the infrastructure, law enforcement, medical facilities, first responders, rail and road systems, tax structure, water/sewer systems, and perhaps most important, the electrical power grid, to support the construction and operation of the HiTest Silicon Smelter/Metal Processing Facility.
3) We are opposed to HiTest Silicon Smelter/Metals Processing Facilities as it would be located within the same incorporated, two-mile radius as the City of Newport and its residents, the City of Newport’s Water Recharge Zone, City of Oldtown and its residents, City of Oldtown’s Water Recharge Zone, Little Spokane River Aquifer Basin, Pend Oreille River and rural unincorporated residential areas that are homes to hundreds of families. This includes 11 public and private schools, in addition to daycare centers, Newport Hospital and Health Center, senior citizen apartment complexes, Long-term care and private extended care homes. Recreational activities would be affected, as well. These include local lakes with campgrounds and boat launches, the Pend Oreille River Water Trail, Pend Oreille County Museum and a myriad of summer events, which include the Newport Rodeo & Carnival. The Kalispel Tribe Reservation with its buffalo herd and Camas Wellness and Health Center is upriver only 19.0 miles, 24 minutes drive from Newport, WA.
4) We are opposed to HiTest Silicon Smelter/Metals Processing Facilities as it pertains to the Whatcom vs Hirst WA Supreme Court decision. That decision, which clarified that Washington’s Growth Management Act requires counties to protect ground and surface waters by ensuring there is enough water available to accommodate growth before more development is authorized. It also clarified that residential wells — which do not require a state permit — are not currently managed to ensure protection of our water resources. As a result, counties need to make an independent decision about the impacts of new wells.” We, also, are concerned that Pend Oreille County is delaying implementing this decision until 2020.
5) We are opposed to HiTest Silicon Smelter/Metals Processing Facilities due to the immense volume of scholarly-researched studies that provide irrefutable data that verify the occupational and non-occupational dangers and health hazard associated with Silicon Smelting/metals processing.
6) We are opposed to HiTest Silicon Smelter/Metals Processing Facilities knowing that taxpayers would be burdened with increased property taxes, utility taxes, water/sewer rates and infrastructure improvements. These additional costs would result in area residents paying for the construction and operation of the facility.
7) We are opposed to HiTest Silicon Smelter/Metals Processing Facilities due to its potential to devalue homes and properties within the entire region.
8) We are opposed to HiTest Silicon Smelter/Metals Processing Facilities as we are a small rural area of forest and agricultural products and tourism. Urbanizing and Industrialization do not fit into this way of life. We need to preserve the rural spaces we so have.
When did it become ok for a massive industrial complex to entrench itself in the middle of rural residential properties and position itself to be built perilously close to incorporated and unincorporated towns, homes, schools, a hospital, recreational areas, waters sources without one opportunity for the citizens to say, “No! Not in my neighborhood!”
RG * NEW is of the strong opinion that there is no way a proposed Silicon Metal Smelter aligns with the inherent values, wisdom and vision of the Pend Oreille County Comprehensive Plan. This smelter is toxic in every sense of the word, and the entire Plan would have to be revised and altered to accommodate it. The unprecedented opposition to this facility by Washington, as well as Idaho residents, indicates the majority of people, not only those most impacted by the proposed smelter, do not want this Plan altered to facilitate this smelter or any other large industrial polluter.