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Inland Port Authority releases new business plan, face public push back

(Photo: James Wooldridge, Deseret News, file)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Inland Port Authority on Monday voted to approve a five-year business plan to make the future logistics hub in northwest Salt Lake City more environmentally friendly. Not everyone believes it goes far enough. 

There was push back from several speakers during an online public meeting, with many like Millcreek resident Emily Heinz complaining the plan is too vague. 

“There’s a lot of talk of the Strategic Business Plan setting guardrails, but when that guardrail is set so low it’s easy to step over it? It’s useless. What you’re saying is you will promote or encourage the use of environmental protection strategies. This plan needs to be more concrete in its commitment to the environmental and community protections,” Heinz said. 

Others complained about the plan, which focuses on eventually using electric and/or cleaner trains and trucks, saying that plan does not have a realistic timetable.

Concerns about air pollution and the protection of wetlands for migrating birds were also expressed during the hour-plus public comment period. 

Heather Dove with the Great Salt Lake Audubon Society believes there has not been enough planning done to handle floods and earthquakes. 

“This area is subject to natural disasters. Yet, no mention is made of liability in the plan. Who will pay when a natural disaster occurs? It’s not a question of ‘if’, it’s a question of ‘when,'” Dove said.     

But Port Authority Executive Director Jack Hedge urged people to be patient and stayed involved. He also stressed that this is not the final word on the project. 

“This is not the end of the road. This is the first step on the path,” Hedge said.

The Inland Port Authority also approved a $5.2 million budget for 2021 during the meeting. The Port Authority took a 10% budget cut because of lower state revenues due to COVID-19.


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