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Tooele County to consider creating Utah Inland Port Authority 'Project Area'

Posted at 9:51 PM, Apr 07, 2023

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah — Teri Durfee does not want warehouses and a railyard on the land just a few miles away from her home, she said.

“The people that live down here like the rural environment," said Durfee. "They like having land. They like having their neighbors far away from them. They like that small-town feel, and they don't want this big industrial zone down here.”

The Tooele County resident just discovered that next week, her council will consider putting a Utah Inland Port Authority (UIPA) Project Area, or “satellite port,” on a piece of unincorporated Tooele County land south of I-80. The Port has been publicly scrutinized for damaging wetlands and contributing to the Salt Lake Valley’s poor air quality.

“I think they feel like it's much easier to get stuff pushed through in rural counties where a lot of people don't know what's going on," said Durfee. "We have the Energy Solutions, it's in our county. We have Dugway Proving Grounds. And we've had Tooele Army Depot, where there are still issues with ammunition and leaks, and so I think that we've had our fair share.”

In Tooele County Council’s business meeting agenda for Tuesday, April 11, the resolution says: "This resolution would give the Council's consent to creating a Utah Inland Port Authority Project Area in Tooele County which would create new employment opportunities, expand rail services, improve movement of materials in and out of Western Utah, and better utilize railroad infrastructure which would reduce truck traffic and maximize regional transportation resources."

However, Durfee says the satellite port will bring damage to the wetlands and farmlands and add air and light pollution.

"The county council, I don't feel like they're really representing the county and what the residents down here actually want," she said.

The only thing happening at Tuesday night’s meeting is the council will consider inviting UIPA to investigate the feasibility of creating the project, and Port Authority representatives will be there to answer questions on the proposal, Tooele County Council Chairman Jared Hamner told FOX 13 News.

The work session begins at 5:30 p.m. and the meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11 at the County building at 47 S. Main Street in Tooele.