Thursday, 03 October 2019 11:49

Pelicans On Parade Event for Kids of All Ages

PELICANS ON PARADE

Wondering what makes pelicans tick? … Why love a pelican?...

Please join Rosalie Winard alongside Jaimi Butler & students from Westminster College’s Great Salt Lake Institute at the Performance Art Festival in Grandma’s Attic at the Main City Library in Salt Lake City.

The Attic will be transformed into an illuminating pelican playroom for your children or grandchildren.

They can learn what a pelican eats by playing “Pelican Puke Game” (designed by GSLI at Westminster).

There will be pelicans on paper to color and storybooks about pelicans to read or be read to. People to answer pelican questions. AND a pelican for your head and selfies.

Join us and fall in love with PELICANS! Friday October 4th - 1-3pm Saturday October 5th – 9:30am-12:30p 210 East 400 South, SLC for children and adults of all ages FREE

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski is asking the court to make a ruling in her lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Utah Inland Port Authority.

A motion for summary judgement filed Monday is the latest development in the lawsuit filed in March by the city, which argues that legislation passed by the state usurps the city’s land use and taxing authority and violates the Equal Protection Clause by disproportionately taxing Salt Lake City residents.

Now Biskupski is asking the 3rd District Court to make a decision in the case, on the grounds that the state has not disputed any of the material facts in the city’s lawsuit over the creation of the port. Located on the city’s west side, the port has been envisioned as a global distribution hub of train, truck and air connections to maximize manufacturing, imports and exports.

“What happened to Salt Lake City is wrong,” said Biskupski in a statement Monday. “The state’s actions threaten to deny city residents the power to control their own destiny and robs them of taxes which help pay for services like police, fire, parks and road repair.”

A bill passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor earlier this year created a “hub and spoke” model, allowing the port to expand outside of its Salt Lake City “hub.” The bill’s sponsors said it would let rural areas establish “satellite offices” so that smaller communities with exports could clear international customs without having to ship goods to Salt Lake City.

The city claims that this “hub and spoke” model creates an unconstitutional “two-tiered tax system.” For other Utah communities, using tax revenue for the inland port project is optional; “whereas Salt Lake City residents were forced to give up 100% of property tax increment, as well as a portion of (the) city’s sales tax for a period of up to 40 years,” a statement released by the city Monday argues.

Click here to continue. 

Tuesday, 17 September 2019 09:48

Rally to Stop the Polluting Port

Dear FRIENDS,

Here's a message from Stop the Polluting Port coalition:

No one knows the full impact the proposed polluting port may have on our health.

Will you rally with us on Wednesday, September 18 at the Utah State Capitol? TIME: 10:15 AM.

We’re asking Utah’s legislative leaders to fund a Health Impact Assessment on development proposed for the Utah Inland Port in Salt Lake City. 

Join concerned community members at a press conference and rally calling on Utah Legislative leaders to fund a comprehensive Health Impact Analysis of new development proposed for the area controlled by the Utah Inland Port Authority. What will the impact of thousands of new truck and car trips be on our air quality, water quality, and the Great Salt Lake ecosystem? What will the impacts of light and noise pollution be? Utahns deserve answers before our tax dollars are further committed to this ill-conceived project. Bring a sign (we'll also have some on hand for you to use).

People power is making a big difference in our fight for a healthy community. Join us.

Thanks for all you do!!

We partner with the Natural History Museum of Utah and University of Utah Youth Education to offer two exciting and adventurous summer camps based on the science and ecology of Great Salt Lake!

Soar The Salty Shore 3 

Great Salt Lake Discoveries for Girls Only (June 10 - 14, 2019)

Ladies, the Great Salt Lake is ours to discover! With staff from FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake and the Natural History Museum of Utah, you’ll investigate the cool and unique ecosystem at the Great Salt Lake, from brine shrimp and owl pellets to buoyancy and pH levels! We’ll visit places like Antelope Island and Farmington Bay, conduct salty experiments, chew pickle weed, and watch birds through binoculars. We are investigators, adventurous, and love being outside. Drop off and pick up take place at NHMU. Transportation to field trip locations is provided. 

This program is only for girls entering 4th and 5th grade in Fall 2019.

Camp runs June 10-14, 2019 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily. Campers should bring their own non–refrigerated lunch from home along with a drink. We offer a supervised lunch hour that includes time to explore outside. Campers will receive a reusable water bottle and a camp shirt with their camp registration fee.

Camp Cost: $310 (NHMU members may be eligible for a discount)

Stay tuned for information about our 2020 camps!

 

Salty Science (June 24 - 28, 2019)

Stay salty this summer and in this field-based science camp! Whether it's investigating macroinvertebrates at Memory Grove Park or air boating on Farmington Bay, each day you'll go on a field trip to explore the ecosystems surrounding the Great Salt Lake. Along the way, engage in activities and conduct experiments to learn about watersheds, rock formations, salinity, native plants, insects, animals, and more. At the end of the week, you'll leave with an outdoor activity book and brine shrimp hatch kit to continue your field work at home! Co-sponsored with University of Utah Youth Education.

This camp is for both boys and girls ages 8-10 only.

Camp runs June 24-28, 2019 from 9am-3pm daily. Campers should bring their own lunch and water from home.

Camp Cost: $275

Stay tuned for information about our 2020 camps!

Youth Education Camp

August 19, 2019

Dear Council Members:

Friends of Great Salt Lake (Friends) urges you vote against the resolution extending a $28 million property tax increment reimbursement to NWQ, LLC.  As you no doubt are aware, Friends works to preserve and protect the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem and to increase public awareness and appreciation of the Lake through education, research, advocacy and the arts.  For a variety of reasons, continued development pressures on the fringes of the Lake pose a substantial threat to one of the most underappreciated parts of the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem – the uplands that surround the Lake and that are home to a variety of bird species that nest and feed in this habitat.  Not only would the additional warehouses that are being proposed continue the destruction of these greenfields, but the additional air pollution that would result from the vehicle traffic associated with the warehouses would make our already challenged air quality even worse.

It is one thing for private property owners to pursue this type of development on their own, but it is quite another for the Salt Lake City Council, acting in its capacity as a Redevelopment Agency, to offer a substantial amount of tax dollars to help them achieve this development.  The fact is that there is no need for the Council to offer this incentive.  If the market exists to support the additional warehouse space, that development will happen on its own – without those tax dollars.  And if it takes $28 million in tax incentives because this site is unsuited for development because of soil stability, that is a clear signal that these warehouses should be built elsewhere.

At this point in time, without a clear understanding of how this type of development would fit into the Port Authority’s plans, offering this incentive is premature.  It is also premature because jurisdictional issues have yet to be resolved and planning for the northwest quadrant has not been completed.  Without knowing what these pieces of this particular puzzle look like, now is not the time to make a decision of this magnitude.

Friends therefore asks that you either deny this request or delay a decision on this matter until additional information becomes available.

Lynn de Freitas

By Leia Larsen | Special to The Tribune

A controversial landfill located at the rocky southern tip of the Promontory Point cape jutting into the Great Salt Lake has secured the final permit needed to open for business. Now all it needs is its first customer.

Weber County might just fill that bill, with all three county commissioners expressing interest in a deal they say could mean savings for taxpayers.

“It looks to me like a wonderful place,” says Commissioner Scott Jenkins. “It’s all developed, the streets are in, the loading docks are there, the lights are up, the pits are dug. They’re ready.”

Great Salt Lake advocates, on the other hand, fear such a deal could be the precursor to future disaster for the fragile lake ecosystem.

“The worst possible place to put a landfill is next to a water body. If it doesn’t happen in 50 years, it will happen in 75 years — there will be a leak,” said Lynn de Freitas with FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake. “We think it was irresponsible for the landfill to even be conceived there.”

Click here to continue.

Hello friends – we were notified that the Salt Lake City Council, acting in their role as the Redevelopment Agency,  on Tuesday, August 20, at 2 pm, will be considering moving forward with the next steps in their development agreement with the Colmena Group by adopting a resolution committing up to $28 million in tax increment to the Colmena Group and their partners for Phase 1 of their development on the greenfield north of I-80.

If the city council moves forward with this development deal they will be taking the first step in creating the polluting port we’re worried about.

We are organizing on social media to get people to attend and speak.  We also have a regularly scheduled organizing meeting tonight (Monday) at 6 pm at the Main Library, 4th floor conference room, where we will be discussing this.

I have drafted a letter that sums up some of the main concerns:

 

Dear Council Members:

We respectfully request that you do not adopt a resolution authorizing a property tax increment reimbursement of up to $28 million to NWQ, LLC.

There are several reasons for our request.

First and foremost, it is unwise to move forward with specific, large scale and impactful development when there is litigation pending to resolve issues of jurisdiction, and when comprehensive planning for development in the northwest quadrant/proposed port area hasn’t been completed.  We’ve been told the Port Authority will have a draft plan available in early 2020.

Moving forward now locks-in a development pattern of intensive warehouse uses, as NWQ, LLC plans to build 10 new warehouses with a combined total of approximately 6 million square feet over the next 5 years. 

These warehouses would add more than 2,000 new truck trips, and 3,300 new car trips into the I-80 corridor (based on “truck bays” and “parking stalls” specified by developers in marketing materials).

Along with the lack of planning, is lack of analysis of environmental harm this development will inflict.  What will thousands of additional diesel truck trips and car trips do to our air quality?  What will massive warehouse development do to wildlife habitat?  What will stormwater runoff from these newly paved surfaces do to water quality and how will that impact the millions of birds that rely on the Great Salt Lake ecosystem? These are just a few of the critical questions that must be answered.

One of the reasons cited for bestowing tax increment on the developers is because it’s a hard, therefore expensive, place to build and they can’t do it without a tax break from Salt Lake City.  For example, they expect to spend $28 million for “Burdened site improvements” related to soil stabilization due to the sandy soil and highwater table.

Should we really be subsidizing development in such an environmentally fragile landscape that is difficult and expensive to build in?

Moving forward without answers to these questions and others, will subject Salt Lake City and our community members to the risks of harm, without the assurance of any significant benefit.  And these decisions will determine the future of Salt Lake City, as well as the Salt Lake and Tooele valleys.

Therefore, we urge you to put this process on hold, until we have better information and answers to the questions about environmental harm.

Sincerely,

 

Deeda Seed
Senior Utah Field Campaigner 
Center for Biological Diversity
dseed@biologicaldiversity.org
801-803-9892

 

Click here to read the RDA staff report.

Click here to read information about the Northwest Quadrant Overlay District. 

Click here to read information about Light Manufacturing Zoning.

Click here to read the Master Development and Reimbursement Agreement.

Click here to read the Administrative Transmittal and Memo.

More than 18 years after accusing two now-defunct magnesium companies of polluting at a production facility in Utah, federal agencies announced Monday that they’ve reached a settlement under which the companies’ trustee and others will fund a $33 million cleanup.

Under the deal with the trustee to Magnesium Corporation of America and Renco Metals Inc., the U.S. will score bankruptcy claims in the amount of $82.1 million, which is expected to yield about $28 million toward remediation. Another $5.8 million is expected to come from the current operator of the magnesium production facility, US Magnesium LLC.

“Polluters will be held to account, even in bankruptcy, for contaminating the environment,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman of the Southern District of New York said in a release. “As a result of today’s settlement, MagCorp and Renco Metals will pay more than $33 million to fund cleanup of the hazardous substances at the US Magnesium Superfund Site.”

The U.S. sued MagCorp and Renco in January 2001, claiming that MagCorp, which was then the largest magnesium producer in the country, created ditches of polluted run-off on a site adjacent to the Great Salt Lake as a result of its production. MagCorp’s facility in Tooele County, Utah, was designated a Superfund site in 2009. Click here to continue.

A new landfill is just one step away from dumping garbage near the shores of Great Salt Lake.

Utah's Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control (Division) approved a permit modification for groundwater monitoring wells on a controversial landfill site on Promontory Peninsula operated by Promontory Point Resources, LLC (PPR),

FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake (FRIENDS), a non-profit membership organization whose mission is to preserve and protect the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem through education, research, advocacy, and the arts, intends to appeal the permit approval to the Executive Director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.

The FRIENDS' administrative appeal focuses on the following:

  1. the Division’s approval did not require PPR to conduct the necessary studies to determine if the landfill will harm the Lake through groundwater contamination.
  2. The Division either discounted or ignored the results of previous independent investigations that reported the “highly-fractured” nature of the bedrock and local hydrogeologic conditions that show groundwater connectivity with the Lake.
  3. In spite of multiple requests by the Division for PPR to develop a defensible groundwater flow model for the area around the landfill and address concerns regarding the suitability of the landfill location, PPR refused the requests.
  4. The Division proceeded in the spirit of this refusal and approved the permit without including the results from previous independent studies and the lack of a defensible groundwater flow model.

Sign this petition to indicate you want to see these issues addressed.

Click here to sign

The new $3.6 billion rebuild of Salt Lake City International Airport was envisioned 20 years ago in the airport’s current master plan. Now, the city wants to know what residents think the airport should look like 20 years from now.

It is working on a new master plan to chart the airport’s next 20 years and create a blueprint for long-term development.

It invites all interested parties to share ideas at a meeting July 17 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Salt Lake City Public Library, 210 E. 400 South.

Refreshments and validations for library parking will be provided. The meeting will also be streamed live on the airport’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SaltLakeCityInternationalAirport.

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Why We Care

  • Much has been made of the tragic loss of rain forests in our hemisphere... But, in fact, because of their productivity of plant and animal matter rich in fats and proteins, freshwater marshes are the most productive ecosystems on Earth.

    Charles Potter, former Executive Director, North American Wildlife Foundation