Letter: Inland port is environmental racism

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Deeda Seed, of Stop the Polluting Port Coalition, center, is joined by representatives from environmental, conservation, and community groups that are part of the coalition as they release a major report outlining the potential environmental harms from the proposed Utah Inland Port during a press conference at the Utah Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020.

As the pandemic navigates its way through our community and protests on systemic racism and the militarization of our police continue, I am reminded, once again, about the inequality the Utah Legislature has created within our communities.

The Utah inland port is one of the most aggressive examples of environmental racism. The disastrous project will affect all of Utah, but will more discriminately affect Salt Lake’s westside communities through air pollution; water, land and species degradation; noise pollution; and car, truck, rail and air congestion. This project will destroy Utah’s quality of life.

The Utah Inland Port Authority Board (UIPA) recently shared its business plan and, although there were many references to “sustainability,” there were no commitments in preserving our quality of life. UIPA’s pandemic perspective is that Utahns need more goods and more ways to move and store those goods.

From my perspective, through the slowing down due to the pandemic, we were offered a glimpse into what Utah looks like through a clear lens and clean air.

The Utah inland port is an excessive use of force against our state and is a prime example of environmental racism. The inland port will steal the breath from Utahns and kill the life around it.

Those who live in and love this state will suffer tremendously due to how the Utah inland port will affect our quality of life. Our westside communities, which are predominantly minority and lower income, will suffer even more.

Repeal the port.

Maurena Grossman, Salt Lake City

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