Silicon Smelter Hearings, Sandpoint WIRT Meeting, ACLU Activist Academy


September 18-20: Newport Silicon Smelter Hearings

The Washington Department of Ecology is conducting a September 11 to October 26 environmental review of the PacWest Silicon smelter proposed for 180 acres near Newport, on the Washington-Idaho border [1-3].  The facility would produce up to 73,000 tons of silicon metal each year, from B.C. quartz rock heated to extremely high temperatures with wood chips, coal, and charcoal.  The Ecology Department is seeking public input on the scope of its environmental impact study and statement (EIS), analyzing potential project effects and options for protection of the natural environment and nearby communities, including air and water quality, plant and animal habitat, cultural resources, and regional transportation.

The state agency will provide its subsequent, draft EIS for public review and comment next summer, followed by a final, impartial, comprehensive EIS in late 2019, for decision-makers and the public to evaluate PacWest Silicon’s permit applications.  Various organizations have compiled information to assist public and expert testimony asking that the department address the widest possible range of concerns in its EIS [4-6].  The public can examine proposal information, request comment period extension to 90 days, and offer scoping comments in-person at four public meetings and/or online:

* Tuesday, September 18, 6 to 9 pm, Spokane Convention Center, 334 W. Spokane Falls Boulevard, Spokane, Washington

* Wednesday, September 19, 6 to 9 pm, Newport High School, 1400 Fifth Street, Newport, Washington

* Thursday, September 20, 6 to 9 pm, Priest River Event Center, 5399 U.S. Highway 2, Priest River, Idaho

* Thursday, September 27, 3 pm, online webinar

September 19: Monthly Sandpoint WIRT Meeting

Invite your friends and families, and join the regional, climate activist community, #No2ndBridge group members, and Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) organizers for the September, third-Wednesday, monthly, WIRT gathering at the Gardenia Center, 400 Church Street in Sandpoint, Idaho, at 7 pm on Wednesday, September 19.  Action planning will discuss #No2ndBridge information and public records research, petition, coal collection, benefit concert, and crowdfunding, in support of the WIRT lawsuit opposing the state permit for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) bridge expansion, facilitating fossil fuels and hazmat pipelines-on-wheels across Lake Pend Oreille and Sand Creek.

We encourage your attendance at this convergence, to participate in work on upcoming, event and radio program guest coordination, summer event reports and photos, #No2ndBridge slide shows in Missoula, Spokane, and other, Northwest locations, an oil and gas waste injection well protest and petition presentation in Boise, outreach brochures, banners, display boards, and tabling at Farmers Markets in Moscow and Sandpoint, and ongoing, coal, oil, and tar sands train monitoring and reporting.

Everyone is welcome to bring their creative ideas and energies and potluck food and beverages, to share current, issue updates and background, and to explore strategies and tactics in solidarity with grassroots, Northwest resistance to the power and pollution of the fossil fuel and railroad industries.  Contact WIRT via email or phone, with your questions and suggestions about potential meeting topics and activities, and to coordinate mutual campaigns and events among allies.

October 6-28: ACLU Idaho Activist Academy

Join American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Idaho staff for the Fall 2018 Statewide Activist Academy trainings, from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturdays in Nampa (October 6), Plummer (October 20), and Fort Hall (October 28) [7].  These workshops “build the expertise and knowledge in advocacy and grassroots activism to successfully mobilize…your community.  Applications are due by 5 pm on Friday, September 21.  …The trainings will consist of large group discussions and breakout sessions on power analysis, community organizing, lobbying, and media tactics.  Attendees will have the opportunity to connect with other community leaders in the area, further strengthening a statewide network.  …Training materials, food, and snacks will be provided.  …The ACLU of Idaho has limited travel subsidies available.” (excerpts)

[1] Ecology Launches Review of Proposed Smelter near Newport, September 11, 2018 Washington Department of Ecology

[2] Public Meetings Begin Next Week on Proposed Newport Silicon Smelter, September 11, 2018 Spokesman-Review

[3] Department of Ecology to Hold Meetings on Silicon Smelter Proposed near Newport Next Week, September 11, 2018 Pacific Northwest Inlander

[4] Hi Test Sands Silicon Smelter Proposal, Kalispel Tribe of Indians

[5] Citizens Against Newport Silicon Smelter

[6] Responsible Growth Northeast Washington

[7] Fall 2018 Statewide Activist Academy: You Belong Here! American Civil Liberties Union Idaho

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