Panel discusses proposed smelter

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(Photo by MARY MALONE) Around 100 people attended the panel discussion Wednesday at the Panida Theater regarding the proposed Newport Silicon Smelter. The panel discussion was hosted by the city of Sandpoint. With the absence of a representative from Hi Test Sands, the Canada-based company proposing to build the plant, who declined the invitation to participate on the panel, the discussion centered around possible negative impacts the facility would have on the region. Panelists included Dan Redline, regional director for the Department of Environmental Quality; Matt Nykiel with the Idaho Conservation League; Shannon Williamson, Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper; Grant Pfeifer, regional director for the Washington Department of Ecology; Deane Osterman, director of natural resources for the Kalispel Tribe; Michael Naylor, Citizens Against the Newport Silicon Smelter board member; and Aaron Qualls, Sandpoint planning and economic development director.

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