Anti-smelter march set for Saturday

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NEWPORT — Opponents of the proposed HiTest silicon smelter are taking their message to the streets of Newport on Saturday.

Marchers will stage at Stratton Elementary, 1201 Fifth St., at 10 a.m. Smelter opponents are slated to march down Highway 2 on the sidewalks into town, then down Washington Avenue to Union and back up Highway 2. Those wishing to take part are invited to bring their anti-smelter gear and signs for a peaceful demonstration. Signs also will be available on site.

Determined opponents of a proposed silicon smelter near Newport formed CANNS after news emerged that HiTest Sand wanted to build the facility outside Newport. They contend that the Canadian company’s proposed smelter would have far-reaching impacts on the region’s air quality and environment, carrying dangerous emissions from the facility into Bonner and Boundary counties. Pollution, they say, would contain nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and other toxic air pollutants, many of which are linked to an increased risk for asthma, lung disease, and environmental impacts like acid rain and regional haze.

However, HiTest officials say the silicon smelter would follow all relevant guidelines while employing as many as 150 workers when the plant comes online. HiTest, which owns a fully permitted quartz mine in Golden, British Columbia, intends to process the material at the proposed Newport facility.

All proceeds go to the Citizens Against the Newport Silicon Smelter Legal Fund. For more information email canss1017@gmail.com or go to canss.org.

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