Hundreds flock to WA smelter presentation
December 02, 2017 at
5:00 am |
By JUDD WILSON Staff writer
Comments by Citizens
John Kennedy ·
String Manipulator at Weird Gutars for Infinite Flux
Here’s a thought, what if the town has a contract that says if HiTest screws it up, all profits and ownership of the facility revert to the town. Might be an incentive to not screw it up.
Had the reporter embraced objectivity– rather than acting as a PR echo chamber for HiTest, the Pend Oreille PUD, and the Pend Oreille County Commissioners; had he traced backward the timelines of secretive public land and PUD asset transactions to the benefit of HiTest; had he investigated the collussion; and violations of open meeting laws that occurred prior –all without public input, the article would not have included inflammatory language to minimize the concerns of local residents as “conspiracy” theorists.
We have a fact set. The due diligence of verifying HiTest’s claims is sorely lacking here and only HiTest’s position is unquestioningly represented.
The Niagra Falls facility is plagued with issues. So are facilities in Iceland, and Mississippi. It remains to be seen if any of them can ever be brought into compliance. In light of this, HiTest’s numerous assurances are hardly believable and based upon the sketchy track record they’ve established to date, unlimited skepticism of all these entities is warranted.
Already, the commissioners have certainly revealed a prejudiced agenda lacking in integrity with their deflective defence of private property rights as the rational empowering them to look the other way. This irony stings greatest when one considers that just months prior, these lands indeed had been public lands.
These are not conspiracies but well established facts. It would behove your journalist to familiarize himself with the definitions of words before he further trashes the reliability of your coverage of this crucial issue as well as seeking other competent input.
We hardly want to sentence future generations to another Libby just because a little due diligence was beyond your reporter’s abilities.
Bruce Johnson ·
President (title) at Johnson Brothers Transportation
I have a doctor palwho I call ‘the smartest guy in the world’….he has sat on the boards of several biotech companies amoung other things…
He says its the super tiny particulates that get into your lungs and the normal mucus system to dispell foreign debris can’t get rid of them. The fact they are silicon is the worst kind…..microscopic glass particles imbedded in our lungs and the lungs of our wild animals.
HiTest Sands is not producing “silicon for solar panels.” They’re producing silicon to sell. Some buyers may use it in solar panels. Solar panel technology is rapidly changing to include the use of other materials less toxic to produce.
Just because HiTest says that it is “willing to spend more money and time on the Newport plant in order to operate safely” there is no contractual guarantee that they will if profits are at risk.
To say the project will not depend on tax credits ignores the many financial inducements being offered by state and utility officials to locate the smelter next to Newport.
The chemical industry study that claims “for every ton of carbon dioxide emitted during the silicone process, “the use of silicones allows for savings 9 times greater” in things such as automotive, construction, and solar energy” is irrelevant because Newport never volunteered to be an air filter for Washington and Idaho or sacrifice its atmosphere and quality of life to improve the environment somewhere else. And let’s not forget the dust created before the process, during shipping and handling, or where the water goes after misting and wetting chips. Impermeable barriers over water sources have been known to degrade and fail.
There is also a big difference between building a smelter near a population center that already has a lot of factories and industrial activity and building one alongside the unique Selkirk Loop tourist destination of forested mountains and deep glacial lakes, a circle that once damaged can’t easily be unbroken. I am sure the scientists who worked on the Space Shuttle Challenger had centuries more experience than the 200 years being touted for the operators attached to this project.
There is no reason to believe that the profit motive will be any less efficient at erasing the memories of corporate officials who make easy promises now to build factories they don’t want built anywhere near where they live.
I suggest that the author read just a small fraction of the available research on silicon smelting. I am disappointed by the regurgitation of HiTest propaganda in this article. Not one point of concern was mentioned here despite the availablility of facts that support these concerns.
Phyllis Jean Kardos ·
Administrative Specialist at Kardos Plumbing & Drain Cleaning, LLC.
Sadly, HiTest only focused on areas of the fugitive emissions, while totally ignoring all the other huge black footprints that will be left by this 19th century industrial smelter plant with a 21st century facelift. The article doesn’t come close to reporting the “whole” story.
Dan Wight ·
The Old School Of Hard Knocks
Poisoning this beautiful valley just because we happen to have politicians willing to make sweetheart deals with land and power rates is not a brilliant way to win friends and influence your neighbors. This company, HiTest is not being truthful about a great deal of the questions asked trucks can and do make multiple trips in such situations. A fleet of trucks operating in support of a large capacity Smelter can put a great deal of strain on already stressed highways. Silica and coal in thousands of tons per year. That’s prior to smelting and nothing has been said about the coal ash and slag from the smeltering waste disposal. What we’ve seen so far is sales pitch and the patronizing of citizens with specific breathing difficulties. This pollution factory can be built where this human and environmental risks are far less obvious.
Cara Whiting ·
College of Legal Arts
Hitest did a excellent white wash/snow job from someones perspective. I am not so gullible as to believe everything the guy in front of me is saying. Hitest claimed that all other similar plants have failed or are “troubled” due to inexperience and lack of oversight. In the next breath, when the question is put to Hitest representatives, they, in fact, have NEVER built or operated a silicon smelter! Ever!!!
They also claimed that tourism and heavy smelting industry can exist side by side, with Niagara Falls as being a good example. Maybe the fact that NIAGARA FALLS is one of the Eigth Wonders of the World????? Is the reason people continue to flock there ? And perhaps the amount hydro power generated?
To rely on “guvment” regulators to keep our little piece of heaven, clean and free from
being a future Superfund cleanup after the fact, is a bad idea, just ask anyone who lives by one. They are all over Washington.
Hitest had no answers for how, we, as residents could recoup the loss to our property values, nor could they come up with a realistic figure of how many operating days, how many trucks of wood chips, railcars of blue gem coal, what hwys of travel, or rail lines. They were hard pressed to ever admit to the 320,000 tons of toxic gas emissions!!! No mention of where they would get the 8000.00 gallons of water per day needed.
The opening remarks made by POC comissioner Karen Skoog was the beginning of the river of lies, despite her comments of “Love and truth” perhaps she should refresh herself on the meaning, because the Pond Orielle commissioners have not been open and forthright and claim on one hand ” were not able to have any input on the process” while they court and romance Hitest as the county budget saver of the century!!!
That dog don’t hunt……
We need family wage sustaining employment opportunities. But not jobs that kill everything around us. Its like smoking cigarettes, if they killed you instantly, people probably wouldn’t smoke! Smelter is the same, it won’t kill the air, water and forests at first flip of the switch, only over time, and then just like lung cancer, its too late.
Were better then this, we can bring jobs that won’t harm us, let focus on that. Thank you for your time.
Let’s be clear…
Emission data recently disclosed in HiTest’s Draft PSD Modeling Protocol was also discussed at this meeting. This modeling protocol lists 320,000 Tons of greenhouse gases, 760 Tons of Sulfur Dioxide, and 700 Tons of Nitrogen Oxides would be generated and released from this plant each year.
I don’t present these figures as a “scare” tactic or some conspiracy theory. These are the figures from HiTest’s own documentation. One must also consider that these figures were estimated for only one stack. HiTest officials indicated at this meeting that there would be plans for a second stack in the future if it could bring them more financial benefits.
Sandpoint residence should look closely at HiTest’s modeling protocol. The document presents several maps that move this pollution over Sandpoint and on into Montana.
When pressed during the question and answer period, HiTest officials confirmed that ALL of this pollution would be present in our local area but that this pollution would be mitigated by the fact that their silicon metal would be used in various forms of “green technology.” Does this really reassure anyone? What human and environmental costs are any of us willing to ignore for the production of a metal that will go into “green technology”?
Mind you, it’s a Global market.
Please follow/join us on Facebook @ “CANSS”
Citizens against Newport Silicon Smelter
BTW Commissioner Jeff Connolly sits on an “Executive Board” assembled to promote and educate our Communities about this project, yet Mr. Connolly last time I spoke to him, was quoted..”you probably know more about this project then I do” . I’m urging Mr Connolly to take a stand, educate and inform our Communities in North Idaho!
Flanigan TheresaI’ve noticed The Water concerns were never addressed. The Smelter sits on top of the Little Spokane River Watershed and is a Known recharge area. Hirst vs Witcom Wa Supreme Court ruling will not exempt them from using more then 5,000 gallons of Water a day. HiTest claims they’ll use 8,000 a day, that’s already well over the ruling numbers. Additionally, those number will double under phase 2. HiTest, POC, PUD, EDC & City of Newport are doing everything and anything possible to ram this project through against the Will of the people.
I read this reply made below by Ann Jones that was made on Canss Youtube page (youtube.com/watch?v=yxc4wNlCENU) I agree! Mark Johnson
Karen Skoog say we lack diversity! No you pathetic excuses sitting in office lack imagination, there are many towns smaller than us who made their town a bustling economy, example “Leavenworth WA” and even closer to home Old Town, look what they have accomplished, so what your excuse Newport officials? Newport should invest in making this a retirement paradise, that will provide real, healthy jobs for the younger to middle age citizens. Where HiTest wants to build, bring in a major golf resorts, with homes, townhouses, hotels, RV parking with hookups, restaurant and a shuttle services to transport folks to the Casino that is coming to Cusick WA! This will increase your property values! Retirees are the ones with real money to spend and the time to do it, this will cause other business to relocate here as well and that means more jobs. The truth is Newport City officials lack vision, this needs to stop, new blood is needed in office! You dinosaurs need to go, you’ve brought nothing to the table and now your bringing forth death, this will kill our town, nobody in their right mind will move a family to a death zone! No new business will relocate or build here, folks will still keep driving to Spokane and spending their dollars there, so nothing is going to change! Maybe you think you will be remembered for bringing in industry, but the truth is we are going to hate you for this, forever. You will be remembered as the stupid fools who ruined this region, vilify and despised as the idiots you are proving to be. You won’t listen to the people who put you into office, it’s time for you to go! Get Informed! pendoreillehealth.blogspot.com/2017/11/open-discusssion.html & facebook.com/groups/NewportSilicaSmelterPlant/
Skoog’s “hope” is that she doesn’t get kicked out of office and put in jail for illegally selling public land for the benefit of HiTest Sands, along with Mike Manus and Steve Kiss. She’s also “hoping” that her brand of bs will be ignored by the local residents. As a public official (not for long), she pretends to be clueless on why we refuse to accept a toxic silicon smelter. This is apparently the “best” our idiotic Commissioners can do, while also running out other businesses that tried to setup here. The “strong economy” advocates have only one pathetic argument, ie., “jobs”, but the Commissioners are not telling the entire truth here and never have. They are after commercial receipts to prop up the County budget and their yearly salaries. They’ve all been paid far too much and delivered far too little, and now we have documented evidence of their crimes. These Commissioners need to resign – and be prosecuted for numerous crimes, which include deceiving the public, withholding information, denying public involvement, selling public land, illegally spending Grant money, and becoming spokesperson for HiTest Sands for the past year and a half. They also intend to illegally spot-zone or annex in the stolen lands, more crimes. The Commissioners are very much behind what HiTest is doing to this town, their public records reveal secret meetings, back room deals and arrangements and a deliberate attempt to deny the Class 1 Air Quality designation to the Kalispel Tribe, and illegally spending public money for the sole benefit of HiTest Sands. They all belong in jail, right now. Don’t let their platitudes deceive you on what they are still trying to do – to get the public to ignore their crimes, what they’ve done and what they are still trying to dump on top of our heads. A clear pattern of illegal activity has been going on all this time, and still is. They intend to illegally zone rural lands, violate the County Comprehensive Plan and hope we do not notice. HiTest’s claim to the land needs to be nullified immediately, funds returned and they need to be kicked out of this County and this State forever. Don’t back down, this fight is just getting started and we are going to win.
Karen Skoog say we lack diversity! No you pathetic excuses sitting in office lack imagination, there are many towns smaller than us who made their town a bustling economy, example “Leavenworth WA” and even closer to home Old Town, look what they have accomplished, so what your excuse Newport officials? Newport should invest in making this a retirement paradise, that will provide real, healthy jobs for the younger to middle age citizens. Where HiTest wants to build, bring in a major golf resorts, with homes, townhouses, hotels, RV parking with hookups, restaurant and a shuttle services to transport folks to the Casino that is coming to Cusick WA! This will increase your property values! Retirees are the ones with real money to spend and the time to do it, this will cause other business to relocate here as well and that means more jobs. The truth is Newport City officials lack vision, this needs to stop, new blood is needed in office! You dinosaurs need to go, you’ve brought nothing to the table and now your bringing forth death, this will kill our town, nobody in their right mind will move a family to a death zone! No new business will relocate or build here, folks will still keep driving to Spokane and spending their dollars there, so nothing is going to change! Maybe you think you will be remembered for bringing in industry, but the truth is we are going to hate you for this, forever. You will be remembered as the stupid fools who ruined this region, vilify and despised as the idiots you are proving to be. You won’t listen to the people who put you into office, it’s time for you to go! Get Informed! https://pendoreillehealth.blogspot.com/2017/11/open-discusssion.html & https://www.facebook.com/groups/NewportSilicaSmelterPlant/
Sincerely, Walter Scott Hughes, Usk, W
My name is Walter Hughes, and my wife Beth and I moved to Usk this year. We live at Skookum Rendezvous RV Resort. We were in a similar, deeded lot RV resort in Olympia and looking to get away from the aggressive traffic, noise, congestion and pollution of Western Washington. We had known about Skookum for a few years but were unable to visit as I had a heart transplant in 2013 and was in the process of recovery. I finally began to feel well in December of 2016 and this spring felt up to an RV trip to Pend Oreille County (POC). We were not planning to buy property here, just take a look, but as soon as we drove down LeClerc Road and into the park abutting the Pend Oreille River, the beauty and peacefulness was obvious and swept us away. We didn’t even have our checkbook with us so had to wire funds needed to purchase what became our new home at Skookum in pristine POC! That was in May, and we spent the summer selling our Oly property and getting moved and settled here. At no point did we have any regrets about our somewhat impulsive move, and even wished we could have done it sooner. Then we began to hear about the proposed smelter in Newport. It seemed that quite a controversy had sprung up over this project so I attended a meeting hosted by CANSS at the Roxy theater on November 18 to get a better understanding of the issues. The concerns were many, and understandable considering the lack of information available from county and state officials. The project appears to have evolved in secrecy, with no public notices or input, and I wonder why it was done this way. For public officials to give the appearance of secrecy and collusion in the process of implementing the smelter project, one that has far-reaching public impact, is to invite anger and speculation. I see there is a public meeting on November 29 and hope there will be detailed, factual and honest answers to the many and justified questions on the table. If nothing else, it would end the speculation. I also wish there had been state and county representation there yesterday at the Newport meeting to see the evidence that CANSS folks have gathered to date. There are some very compelling reasons to doubt the overall positive impact of the smelter on the region, and for me, the presentation by Moses Lake former city council member Bill Ecret was the most profound. So important that I think someone from the county should contact him. A project similar to the proposed smelter was implemented there with eventual and unexpected severe negative economic consequences for their city and county. I would truly hate for the same scenario to unfold here because we rushed though the smelter permit process, hoping for an economic boon that might turn around later on and bite us in the back. Also, as a former skilled blue collar worker, the description of the working conditions for smelter workers is appalling; pay is low, 12 hour rotating shift work, no benefits for 3 years and heavy physical labor while working near 4000 degree smelter heat, breathing toxic gasses and silica dust; it is a difficult and dangerous job at twice the pay. Employee turnover is huge at a similar smelter the CANS people visited in Mississippi. The worker’s bodies can’t take the
abuse. I think we all should get together, put our cards and hearts on the table and work together to openly answer questions and come up with a consensus concerning the smelter’s impact on all our homes. With our current beautiful environment and abundant recreation opportunities, I can’t imagine the smelter to be our only viable economic improvement option. The beauty is why we are here, and we hear the same from our neighbors and people we talk to in town. This is our goose that lays the golden eggs and I’d hate for a hasty, uninformed smelter decision to kill that goose!
Thanks for your time!
Sincerely, Walt and Beth Hughes
Additional reading: This article just came to my attention and should be required reading for anyone with grandchildren. Is it fact, or fiction? We all decide with the choices we make. Thanks again.