Input requested for proposed Pend Oreille County silicon smelter

Input requested for proposed Pend Oreille County silicon smelter

The Washington Department of Ecology will conduct an environmental review for a proposed silicon smelter in Pend Oreille County.

Pac-West Silicon wants to build the smelter on more than 180 acres along the Washington-Idaho border, near Newport, to produce up to 73,000 tons of silicon each year.

The process combines quartz rock, wood chips, coal, and charcoal to produce the metal.

The state’s review will evaluate the potential environmental impacts of the project, including how it will impact surrounding communities, air quality, transportation and cultural resources.

Through October 11, the Department of Ecology is asking for input on what to include in the study. You can submit comments online, or in person at one of the following public meetings:

September 18 6pm-9pm at the Spokane Convention Center
September 19 6pm-9pm at Newport High School
September 20 6pm-9pm at Priest River Event Center

It will also hold an online webinar on September 27 at 3pm.

After the public input is considered, the Department of Ecology will finalize the scope of the environmental impact study and have a draft available for public review sometime next year.