PRIEST RIVER — State Rep. Heather Scott has drafted a comprehensive list of questions and concerns over the proposed silicon smelter south of Newport.
The Blanchard Republican’s cover letter to the Washington Department of Ecology expresses disappointment that a lack of meaningful attention has been given to Idaho residents’ concerns in the run-up to scoping hearings in Priest River and Newport last month. Scott said Idaho roads will facilitate PacWest Silicon’s project, which means they will be used extensively and will require expensive maintenance.
“Bonner County residents will shoulder the full brunt of any downwind negative environmental consequences with the potential to jeopardize Lake Pend Oreille and Priest Lake watersheds, both some of the most outstanding and unique in North America,” Scott said in the Oct. 15 letter to DOE’s eastern regional office.
Scott’s scoping questions cover nearly two dozen topics ranging from water and air quality concerns to transportation and economic impacts.
“I am requesting a full assessment of the environmental, socioeconomic, aesthetic, and auditory impacts of the proposed silicon smelter project that the majority of citizens in west Bonner County, Idaho, and east Pend Oreille County, Washington, citizens do no desire,” Scott said the body of the scoping response letter.
The letter questions impacts to wetland resources, project-related hazardous materials, toxic air pollutants and greenhouse gases.
“What level would be considered elevated enough to invoke a cease-and-desist operation for any parameter with the aforementioned groups of pollutants?” Scott asks in the letter.
The Sandpoint City Council will be taking up its scoping questions for DOE tonight during its 5:30 p.m. business meeting at City Hall.
Oral testimony is limited to 3 minutes per person.
The Gardenia Center in Sandpoint is hosting a smelter scoping workshop on Thursday from 6-9 p.m. Computers stations will be available for submitting public comments.
Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.