Letter: An inland port in Salt Lake City will have deadly effects on our air quality

Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune l-r Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, and House Speaker Greg Hughes held a news conference Tuesday, June 5, 2018 to detail a Òcompromise frameworkÓ for the new inland port authority. In March, Lawmakers approved SB234, to create an international port on thousands of acres in the northwest portion of Salt Lake City.ÊIn addition to building the shipping port on about a quarter of city land, the bill also made the portÕs board the final appeal panel for disputes over land use decisions, and it allows the port to take over all tax-and-spend power in that area.

At risk of impertinence, we must point out the extreme incompatibility of the proposed “inland port” adjacent to the Great Salt Lake and Salt Lake Airport with our apparently worsening summer ozone problem.

It’s one thing to long for greater economic advantage to drive the long-dreamed-of Mormon population advantage, but to do so in a place in which burning more and more hydrocarbon fuels will, inevitably, add dramatically to the ozone formation dilemma is nuts!

One look at June 7’s Tribune evokes some of the worst whistling in the graveyard witnessed in this capital of graveyard whistling. Let’s start early on this deadly pairing of issues by thoroughly analyzing the air quality consequences of the inland port madness, developing a thorough understanding of the quantities of hydrocarbon fuels to be released by air traffic, heavy trucking, local delivery vehicles and the rest of the immense fleet, for ozone formation in and around this irresponsible high desert inland port.

There are places in the U.S. where an inland port may be a tolerable form of economic development, but this isn’t one of them, unless you’re seeking dramatically to shorten the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people you seek to add to the valley.

And this doesn’t even begin to consider the precarious existence of Great Salt Lake birds!

Ivan Weber, Salt Lake City

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