Labrador needs to speak for taxpayers against smelter

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Susan Brown wrote a great letter protesting the Newport smelter to Raul Labrador. I, too, wrote him concurring with her great letter and adding the comments below.

The letter to you from Susan Brown concerning the proposed silicon smelter barely scratches the surface of my feelings on this monster the Canadian company wants to build on our doorstep in Newport, Wash. I came to this region from southern Arizona where copper mines’ smelters filled the air with pollutants 24/7 for decades. They usually put them in remote areas to avoid public scrutiny, but when traveling or hunting in the back countries surrounding these smelters it was apparent the damage was widespread for miles. The animals had left and the vegetation was scrawny and sparse, it was scary. Is that what North Idaho is, a remote and worthless area where a hundred jobs can buy off our air and water quality for the next 100 years. These smelters close and leave their devastation when the ore or market value runs out. We need political help fighting this project now!

R. BRUCE JOHNSON

Sandpoint

I include Susan’s letter below:

Dear Mr. Labrador,

Many of us in Bonner County are hearing some very unsettling things about the Smelter in Newport, Wash., which happens to be 5 mile west of us. I know you are familiar with Bonner County and the charm and beauty that draws vacationers here.

Just to touch on one item, we have been told by the HiTest company reps that we shall have 170 40-tons trucks hauling material to the plant a minimum of five days a week on our highways 95 and 2.

You can do the math for yourself, it equates to noise pollution, emissions pollution, traffic congestion, and erosion of our roads, that we as taxpayers will have to bare the burden of.

I respectfully request to know where you stand on this matter. We understand Gov. Butch Otter is against it. I ask that you come up to Bonner County and meet with the citizens here to discuss this matter as Idaho taxpayers will be effected by this plant.

SUSAN BROWN

Sandpoint

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