November 23, 2021

A rail spur is in the works for a Tooele satellite port. Opponents worry about Great Salt Lake.

The Romney Group, a private real estate investment company, is pushing for the creation of a 12,000-acre satellite port in Tooele County, which includes Erda. Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. The Romney Group, a private real estate investment company, is pushing for the creation of a 12,000-acre satellite port in Tooele County, which includes Erda. Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune

The project could bisect “endangered” wetlands, connecting with an industrial park that has ties to Sen. Mitt Romney’s son.

By Leia Larsen | Nov. 23, 2021, 7:00 a.m. | Updated: 9:37 a.m.

Click here to read the full article on the Salt Lake Tribune website.

As the inland port in Salt Lake City works to build out its rail lines and capacity to transfer goods between trains and trucks, a proposed satellite port in the next county over appears to be quietly putting rail plans of its own into motion.

On Sept. 2, a company named Savage Tooele Railroad filed notice with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, or STB, of its intent to build a 12-mile rail spur off a Union Pacific line that runs parallel to Interstate 80 in Tooele County.

The spur would cut south, connecting to the Lakeview Business Park, a still-undeveloped warehouse project covering hundreds of acres. The project is a holding of the Romney Group, founded by U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney’s son Josh Romney, and part of a potential 12,000-acre satellite port supported by Tooele County officials.

The plans raised concerns from port opponents and Great Salt Lake advocates, as the spur runs through important wetlands surrounding the lake that are increasingly getting gobbled up by development.

“Air quality, natural resources, habitats, wetlands, uplands, community, quality of life — why bother when there’s land to develop, to bring more noise, more traffic?” sarcastically asked Lynn de Freitas with FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake. “Where’s the pause button when you need it?”

Click here to read the full article on the Salt Lake Tribune website.