Newport residents reject idea of silicon smelter that could have come to Addy

Katie Leithead
S-E Staff Reporter

In response to community concerns over air quality and health impacts relating to a proposed smelter near Newport, the Pend Oreille County Board of Commissioners have requested additional scrutiny in the permitting process and is encouraging community involvement in economic development.

Canadian company HiTest Sands announced plans to build a $325 million silicon smelter in Eastern Washington in 2016. For a time, the old Alcoa plant in Addy was considered a potential location for the 192-acre project. HiTest Sands eventually settled on Newport, home of approximately 2,200 people.

Concerns of the health and environmental impact have had some Newport residents and their neighbors protesting the smelter altogether.
This is why commissioners are requesting a review of the potential impact.

“I have full confidence in the Washington Department of Ecology to do a thorough review of the environmental impacts to our county, state and neighboring counties and states during the SEPA process,” said Pend Oreille County Commissioner Mike Manus. “I have spoken with Grant Pfeifer, Eastern Regional Director for Ecology regarding the process and he assures me there are no shortcuts or special privileges being offered to HiTest.”

Read the story in the April 11, 2018 S-E, available in stores and online here.
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