Smelter Woes…

Dear Editor,

I am a citizen of Blanchard and have been working with citizens of Newport Washington to stop the construction of a silicon smelter to be owned and operated by HiTest Sands.

We have collected information from other silicon smelters in Iceland, Europe and here in the United States. We are told that a lung condition called silicosis, which is a form of cancer, becomes prevalent to those who live within a 130-mile radius of a silicon smelter. Not only the air becomes polluted but also the water and the land itself. HiTest Sands officials say they will bring in prosperity to the small community of Newport, but at what cost? How much money brought into the community justifies allowing a carcinogen to come in?

What keeps us coming together to persuade HiTest Sands to go away is that we do not wish to allow a polluting industrial company, let alone a Canadian one such as HiTest Sands, to force its way into this area. If HiTest Sands wins and builds its smelter, other forms of industry will come possibly with other forms of pollution.

Those of us who live in this beautiful area need to stand against those who would have us believe that their pollution of this area, in order to make a large sum of money, is better for us all.

Thank you,

Steve McConnell

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