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Meeting Wednesday on Filing Public Comments On Newport Smelter



Public comment remains open for what is known as the “scoping period”  for a proposed silicon smelter in Newport, Washington.

No more public meetings are planned but written comment on the smelter proposal will be taken until October  26th.

Gonzaga University’s Environmental Law and Land Use Clinic will sponsor an event related to the smelter on Wednesday. 

“It’s to help people understand what is the smelter proposal, what some of the impacts are. What is SEPA and the scoping process, and how they can effectively participate,” said Rick Eichstaedt, an attorney at the clinic.

The Department of Ecology is leading the scoping process to gauge what citizens believe are the important issues related to the smelter, if it is built.

Eichstaedt says the vast majority of public comment at the three previous public hearings was against the smelter.

“I think you could count on one hand the number of people that supported the smelter, more than overwhelming opposition to the smelter proposals. People raised all sorts of questions related to property values, air impacts, water impacts, any number of impacts,” he said.

Eichstaedt hopes Spokane residents who may not know much about the smelter attend, and get an idea why Newport area residents have concerns.

The meeting will be Wednesday from 6-8 pm in the Moot Court Room at the Gonzaga Law School.

Steve was part of the Spokane Public Radio family for many years before he came on air in 1999. His wife, Laurie, produced Radio Ethiopia in the late 1980s through the '90s, and Steve used to “lurk in the shadowy world” of Weekend SPR. Steve has done various on air shifts at the station, including nearly 15 years as the local Morning Edition host. Currently, he is the voice of local weather and news during All Things Considerd, writing, editing, producing and/or delivering newscasts and features for both KPBX and KSFC. Aside from SPR, Steve ,who lives in the country, enjoys gardening, chickens, playing and listening to music, astronomy, photography, sports cars and camping.