We, the residents of south Pend Oreille County and adjacent Bonner County, incorporated and unincorporated, go on record as OPPOSING the proposed HiTest Silicon Smelter (now known as PacWest Silicon). We base this opposition on several factors, which are not limited to what is listed below:
- The smelter would be in total violation of Pend Oreille County Comprehensive Plan. 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 developments should be of a suitable scale and compatible with the rural character. . . .”
- The surrounding area does not have adequate infrastructure-roads, rail systems, bridges, law enforcement, medical facilities, first responders, tax structure, and water/sewer systems.
- The site chosen for the proposed smelter is located in an unincorporated residential area near homes to hundreds of families.
- There is verifiable evidence of the occupational and non-occupational dangers and health hazards associated with silicon smelting/metals processing.
- The proposed smelter will be located within two miles of the Cities of Newport and Oldtown, the water recharge zones, The Little Spokane River Aquifer Basin, the Pend Oreille River, eleven public and private schools, daycare centers; the Newport Hospital and Health Center; senior citizen apartment complexes, long-term care and private extended care homes.
- Popular recreational activities such as swimming, boating, camping and hiking would be affected.
- Taxpayers would be burdened with extra costs which would result in the residents paying for the construction and operation of the facility by increased property taxes, increased electrical/water/sewer rates, and infrastructure improvements.
- Its potential to devalue homes and properties within the entire region.
- We oppose HiTest Silicon Smelter Facility due to it not being compatible with our rural way of life and all that we love about our area.