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Opinion >  Letters

Smelter helps or harms?

PacWest/HiTest plans to build a silica smelter in Newport. The state Department of Ecology is seeking input on what to include in the impact satement. PacWest has provided little or no consistent information to the public.

The elected Newport officials sold the land for the same amount of money that Gov. Jay Inslee granted the company. “As a leading innovator in their industry, HiTest shares our commitment to enabling the great promise of the clean energy economy,” Inslee said. “I look forward to watching the resurgence of hard-working Washington communities spurred by this exciting new development in our northeast region.”

And herein lies the challenge. Are we on a large scale helping our environmental impact? Is this the legacy or are we causing extra environmental damage for generations to pay for and clean up? Does stopping the creation of a new polluting factory hinder progress? Or is progress really made when we protect the last remaining areas of nature.

I ask our representatives and neighbors to reconsider support for the Newport smelter and keep Washington/Idaho uncontaminated. Ask questions. Call, email and write letters to your representatives. What we have is worth protecting.

Tonya Sherman



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