The following is a chronological list of events leading up to the Selling of Public Property to HiTest Sands, Inc., a Silicon Smelter Manufacturing Industry in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, by POC Public Utilities District #1. The property was purchased by HiTest Sands for the proposed purpose of building a 2 stack, $300 million Silicon Smelter facility. HiTest is now known as PacWest Silicon.
Spring 2015 PUD receives from HiTest a request to “prepare a proposal for power sales to the smelter.”
Jan – HiTest approaches State Rep. Shelly Short “about locating a smelter in Northwest Alloy site in Addy.”
May 11 – Glen Nenema, Chairman, Kalispel Business Council to Michelle Pirzadeh, Acting Administrator, Region 10, Environmental Protection Agency, requesting from EPA “approval of our proposal to re-designate the lands within the exterior boundaries of the original Kalispel Indian Reservation a Class I area under the Clean Air Act’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program….due to an imminent threat and consistent with the Tribe’s longstanding efforts to protect our home from environmental pollution.”
May 12 – “Concerned citizens of Golden, B.C. and Area A” lodge a protest over the promotion of this silicon smelter without “a critical analysis of its potential on the environment and tourism and recreation industries.”
Jul 6 – “announced that it has completed the purchase of the Horse Creek Mineral Lease…in Golden, British Columbia, a Silica ore mine containing 99.82% Si02 purity.”
Aug 19 – WA Department of Commerce announces “that a new $300 million silicon smelting facility proposed for Usk, WA has been designated a “Project of Statewide Significance and will receive $300,000 in economic assistance through Pend Oreille Economic Development Council.”
Aug 24 – HiTest Land, Inc. rejects British Columbia’s offer to “process the silica sand that is mined in the region due to higher electrical prices, construction costs and Golden’s remote location, which made the site not economically viable.”
Sep 7 – Notice of Sale, Surplus Real Estate Properties for Sale, Public Utility District No.1 of Pend Oreille County. Three tax parcels equally 172.47 acres located about one-half mile south of the Newport City limits. Fair Market value: $245,000.
Nov. – Pend Oreille County receives $250,000 grant from the WA State Dept. of Commerce for advanced planning of the Proposed HiTest site south of Usk.”
Nov 14 – POC Commissioners’ letter to Mr. Jayson Tymko, CEO, HiTest Sand, Inc. “Our entire community, especially the Kalispel Tribe is very anxious to learn more about the facility and the sooner we can start to answer their questions the better….As you proceed, we would like to reaffirm our commitment of October 12th to assist you in any way we can with planning, design, and permitting of your project.” (this letter was in reference to the Usk site).
Feb – HiTest Sand will not be building a $300 million smelter in Pend Oreille County. HiTest smelter going to Addy.”
Feb – Kalispel Indian Reservation Prevention of Significant Deterioration Program: Class 1 Redesignation Technical Report, Usk, WA prepared by Ridolfi Environment is completed.
Jun 7 – PUD’s “Willenbrock says HiTest is looking at a site south of Newport on land owned by the PUD and Pend Oreille County.
Jun 14 – “Jayson Tympko, president of HiTest Sands, Inc.,…was in Newport Monday, June 12th.” Met in the Newport Miner office with Commissioner Mike Manus, Gregg Dohrn, Sen. Shelly Short and publisher Michelle Nedved.
Jun 20 – Pend Oreille County, Newport, WA Resolution No. 2017-22. “The Pend Oreille County Treasurer is authorized to sell Assessor’s Parcel No. 19182 by direct negotiations with the Pend Oreille County PUD no later than August 15, 2017, for a minimum price equal to the total appraised value.”
July 5 – HiTest a Canadian Company receives $300,000.00 from the EDC.
July 11 – The Pend Oreille County signs the 2017-26 Amendment to sell the County property
Aug 2 – The Pend Oreille County Public Utility District (PUD) buys the County property.
Sep 18 – HiTest gives the Pend Oreille County Public Utility District $300,000 for the Public property the PUD paid $693,560.00 for.
Oct 4 – J. Tymko stated in Miner’s article – “The plan is to start the permitting process now and to have the plant up for a test run by Sept. 20, 2019”. As of October 10, 2019, still, no shovel has been turned over.
Oct 29 – First Public Meeting at the Roxy.
Nov – 2nd Public Meeting at the Roxy Meeting
Nov 27 – Kalispell Tribe opposed the smelter
Nov 27 – Idaho and Washington Petitions developed & posted FB
Nov 29 – HiTest Public Meeting at High School
Dec 12 – Norm Semanko was our Lawyer
Dec 12 – Letter to Grant Pfeifer, WSDof Ecology from Upper Columbia United Tribes UCUT = CdA, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Kalispell Tribe, the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho and the Spokane Tribe of Indians
Dec 21 – 1st letter from Norm to Greg Snow regarding zoning of HiTest land does not allow for industrial use.
Jan 29 – Washington State Democratic Central Committee joined the Kalispel Tribe of Indians and the Spokane County Democratic Central Committee in opposing the HiTest silicon smelter project and calls on Governor Jay Inslee and the agencies and subdivisions of the State of Washington to do the same.
Feb 24 – CANSS March through Newport
June 7 – Lawsuit launched
July 01 – Many FIA requests were made and countless emails received and read. One that stands out and a quote is repeated often is “keep this on the down-low” from Mike Manus’s email dated 7.21.16
Oct – SEPA Scoping Public Comment began
March – Estimated emissions from the Newport Smelter are increased significantly by the Washington St. State DOE.
- Judge rules on the CANSS/RG*NEW Lawsuit on the illegal sale of the land sold to PacWest. For review in Legal Efforts.
- Land Appeal Filed Pend Oreille County Planning Commission votes down the Blanket Rezone Amendment proposed by the County Commissioners.
- Appeal Filed on the CANSS/RG*NEW Lawsuit on the illegal sale of the land sold to PacWest.
- PacWest’s Silicon Smelter Project is officially on hold.
- Blanket Rezone Amendment proposed by the County Commissioners pick up steam.
June – It was a slow June.
July – Kalispel Tribe received its Class 1 Air shed Designation
Aug – The Land Sale Appeal Continues.
Sept – Hearing Examiner makes a decision on RG*NEW’S appeal of the SEPA Checklist for the Blanket Rezone Amendments for Pend Oreille County.
Oct – Governor Inslee sends a letter to PacWest.
Nov – It was a quiet month.
Dec – Pend Oreille County Commissioners reject Rezone Amendment.
- Chairmen of the Kalispel Tribe letter – Inslee should revoke smelter support.