By Cameron Rasmusson
The Kalispel Tribal Council unanimously passed a resolution Monday opposing the construction of a proposed Newport smelter.
Citing its close proximity to the reservation and its projected environmental impact, the tribal council said it intends to resist the smelter construction and called for “its governmental and community partners to do the same.”
According to the resolution, the smelter would be build in Newport 11 miles away from the reservation. Data provided by HiTest Sand, which is seeking the smelter’s construction, indicates it would emit 320,000 tons of greenhouses gases, 760 tons of sulfur dioxide and 700 tons of nitrogen dioxide each year, the resolution states.
Under those conditions, the tribal council believes there are more environmentally friendly means of promoting economic growth in Pend Oreille County.
“This amount of air pollution poses unacceptable risks to the health, culture and natural resources of the Kalispel Tribe and all Reservation residents,” the resolution reads.