Written Public Comment

1. Can you explain the Utah Inland Port Authority’s five-year strategic business plan, has it been affected in any way by the COVID-19 pandemic?

The Port Authority was established in 2018 as a state corporation directed to maximize the long-term benefits of logistics development statewide. The Authority is charged with revolutionizing global logistics with the mission of promoting sustainable, equitable, and smart logistics investments. Key objectives of the Authority include:

  1. Position Utah as a leading trade logistics hub
  2. Advance sustainable and smart supply chains
  3. Be a responsible steward of the environment and local communities
  4. Effectively manage UIPA resource

COVID effects – we have all been affected by the pandemic in multiple ways, however, the Authority has navigated the online, at home meeting world and continued to meet people where they are to drive initiatives forward.

2. How has the port reduced emissions while meeting demand? Has it invested in electric or zero-emission equipment?

Over the last year, the Authority has signed 12 agreements with both public and private companies engaged in the renewable energy sphere. The Authority has recently announced the partnership of two truck parking locations within the jurisdictional area. These two locations, one north of I-80 and one south of I-80, will provide safe and secure locations for trucks to park out of neighborhoods, and off the side of roads as well as plug into auxiliary stations and electric charging pedestals.

3. President Biden has revealed a $2 trillion plan to rebuild US infrastructure and the domestic supply chain, how important is it that some of that money goes towards inland ports?

Building and strengthening logistics infrastructure is a focus of the Authority. Leveraging available funding structures will help the Authority in our initiative of moving cargo and freight in and through Utah cheaper, faster, and more efficiently.

4. What are the main challenges currently facing the US supply chain, what should be the new administration’s priorities when rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure?

Long, fragile supply chains along with data visibility issues are among the top infrastructure challenges facing the nation. Top priorities for the Authority include partnering with west coast Ports to help with velocity and efficiency. Goals include partnership agreements to get containers intended for regions within proximity of the Intermountain West, off the ships/dock onto rail and ship it straight to Salt Lake City and then transloaded at the Authority’s port facility. Improvements in rail infrastructure in and around the state of Utah is a key priority.

Another priority is 5G/LTE. The Authority is working with partners to develop a private 5G/LGE network to enable high visibility into logistics data, location, etc. The Authority is also prioritizing sustainability and smart logistics and believe Utah will revolutionize the global system through research and development of autonomy and automatization of logistic and cargo handling equipment. 

5. How has the role of inland ports changed in recent years? Do you anticipate more growth in the near future as pressure increases on seaports?

Over the years, inland ports have become a release valve as they are often located in areas where there are less land constraints. Inland ports offer proximity to rail and highways, less congestion, parking for trucks, along with storage and service.

6. Digitalization has been a big area of investment for seaports, are you seeing the same trends at inland ports?

The Authority is working with partners to develop a private 5G/LGE network to enable high visibility into logistics data, location, etc. The Authority is also prioritizing sustainability and smart logistics and believe Utah will revolutionize the global system through research and development of autonomy and automatization of logistic and cargo handling equipment.

7. Thank you for the opportunity to ask questions about the Inland Port. It seems a bit late in the process for public input, given that the Inland Port is forging ahead as a “done deal” without input by those of us who may have to live with the consequences. A major concern would be environmental impacts, most specifically to include water and air quality. Water is a limiting factor for life and economic growth. The Great Basin has limited fresh water resources. How is it possible that water consumption at the Inland Port would not have severe adverse consequences for existing users of that water? Likewise, Salt Lake Valley is a large basin that, given certain meteorological conditions, effectively traps pollutants with the result being long episodes of poor air quality. With additional traffic, particularly diesel truck traffic and warehousing, how could the Inland Port not further exacerbate the already poor air quality that Salt Lake Valley residents already suffer? You might also note that people in general do not like to have “done deals” rammed through without consideration of those who will suffer the adverse impacts. Please stop this shameful process and take your traffic elsewhere.

As residents of Utah, the environment and air quality are among our top priorities. It is important to note that the Port Authority does not own any land nor do we have land-use authority. The land is privately owned and land use belongs to local municipalities including Salt Lake City, West Valley City, and Magna Township.  

The land within the jurisdiction has been entitled by the municipalities and will be developed with or without the Port Authority. The mission and overall objective of the Port Authority is to drive sustainable, equitable and smart logistics investments. 

The following sustainable building practices have been implemented in buildings north of I-80 through partnership agreements between the Port Authority and developers:

  • Thermal mass panels
  • Low VOC paints
  • Skylights
  • LED lighting
  • Solar energy
  • LEED certifiable
  • Low water use, natural landscaping
  • EV charging stations

The Authority is also working with the Utah Department of Environmental Quality—the environmental regulator in the state—on baseline air quality data collection as well as storm water collection. Data will be available on our website as it is becoming available from the divisions of Air Quality and Water Quality respectively.

In October 2020, the Port Authority signed the Utah Climate and Clean Air Compact with more than 100 Utah business, government, faith, and civic leaders. The compact’s vision is to be responsible stewards of Utah’s future and the future of children here and around the world. UIPA is working to promote sustainable industry practices and reduce emissions.

UIPA Executive Director Jack Hedge also sits on the Utah Clean Cities Coalition Board of Trustees. Utah Clean Cities is an organization that focuses on decarbonizing fleets, clean fuel strategies and investment.

Additionally, the Port Authority has a seat on the board of Utah State University’s Advancing Sustainability through Powered Infrastructure for Roadway Electrification (ASPIRE) Center. This center is working towards widespread electrification of all vehicle classes, improved air quality, and public infrastructure that provides an inexpensive, seamless charging experience. UIPA, ASPIRE and Rocky Mountain Power have partnered to launch a pilot program focused on transportation electrification research and advancement as well as innovative energy technologies.

8. The Inland Port Board was a Committee set up by Gov. Herbert who is gone. Why was it not dissolved?  It is illegal and has a trail of corruption, starting with Greg Hughes, who was House Speaker in 2018 and drove the bill, to profit from it. It was discovered he owned property within the boundaries.  Why is the state building such a foolish Port on swampland? The new Utah Prison is 4 years late and millions over budget. The same thing will happen to the Inland Port because it is a death trap. I.e. the poisons to kill the mosquitoes and disease-laden insects will kill people. Why does Utah want to kill its people, especially on the North West side of Salt Lake? How many lobbyists are on the Inland Port project and what are their names?

The Port Authority has no land-use authority whatsoever. Development in the northwest quadrant of Salt Lake City has occurred for many years, long before UIPA was established in 2018 by the Utah State Legislature, please see SB234. The development is a result of the zoning and land use planning by municipalities such as Salt Lake City, West Valley City, and Magna.

We exist to mitigate and influence how things are built in our jurisdiction. Development would have happened whether or not UIPA existed, and we seize the opportunity to choose and influence how the development takes place.

The Port Authority is actively working with the National Audubon Society to secure and preserve the land that municipalities have designated and zoned as natural areas. Additionally, UIPA and Audubon are working to impose a buffer to separate and protect the critical shorebird and related habitat of the Great Salt Lake.

UIPA is also working with municipalities to develop a storm water and water quality master plan for the jurisdictional area.

We currently have no lobbyists sitting on our board. The UIPA is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of 11 appointed members representing various governmental entities and industry expertise.

9. I’ve been living on the Wasatch Front for 26 years, and truly value the amazing environment and vibrant economy that we have locally.  However, I can’t think of anything more short-sighted than to permanently damage our home in the name of economic growth. Your current path will inevitably lead to huge damage to our air quality and overall quality of life in the Valley. We’ve heard from a number of Port supporters who correctly recognize that there are economic benefits to having a local port in their area serving the larger facility in Salt Lake in an effort to transfer incoming truck traffic to trains for the final leg.  That all sounds good, but diesel locomotives are large polluters too.  Why not take this opportunity to build infrastructure representative of the 21st century and REQUIRE (not “suggest”) that all locomotives be electric, not diesel. Electrification of these local rail links would be a significant economic and environmental benefit. Similarly, ALL vehicles that enter the port could be required to be fully electric by 2028.  Electric cars and trucks are rapidly become economic reality.  Even more likely? Autonomous semi-trucks will be the norm on rural highways in the future, and there’s absolutely no reason why all trucks couldn’t be fully electric.  There will be thousands of jobs at the Salt Lake Port, and it’s perfectly reasonable to require that all arriving workers use electrified public transit or shuttle buses, electric cars.  You have complete control of this entire property, and you can set the rules regarding vehicle access.

Similarly, you can require that onsite transportation such as forklifts, shuttle-vans, pickup trucks etc that move between buildings can also be required to be electric. Even better, you can require that warehouses and buildings larger than 50,000 sq ft must supply electric bikes, scooters and other personal mobility devices to allow workers to move about the site efficiently.

You will be constructing millions of square feet of warehouse space…..all will have massive flat roofs and ready access to an underground water table.  ALL buildings must be required to be net producers of energy by using geothermal heating systems (no gas furnaces allowed).  All buildings should be wired to a shared photovoltaic array:  there’s enough solar power available onsite to supply all of your needs and even export to surrounding neighborhoods.

I hate to sound like a tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theory guy, but one of my biggest fears is the incredible damage that will be created when your efforts add even more pressure to drain the Great Salt Lake.  “Oh, we don’t want that!” I hear you say….and yet you are pushing massive development in the wetlands and shoreline of the Salt Lake, and you will directly benefit from a drop in the Lake level by reducing the mosquito population and stabilizing the questionable, soggy land. Of course the large increase in demand for water will put even more pressure on the Salt Lake via the proposed pipeline that you probably support as well.

What you are doing is not sustainable and out of date. I understand the political realities of a 1-party State that values economic growth at the expense of their grandchildren’s health.    Why not recognize the concerns of the opposition arrayed against you and take a leadership position nationally by requiring construction & transportation infrastructure that is fully electrified so that ALL energy can be obtained from renewable sources.  This will be a win-win for the Salt Lake Valley and for rural Utah.

As residents of Utah the environment and air quality are among our top priorities. It is important to note that the Port Authority does not own any land nor do we have land use authority. Land is privately owned and land use belongs to local municipalities including Salt Lake City, West Valley City, and Magna Township.  

The land within the jurisdiction has been entitled by the municipalities and will be developed with or without the Port Authority. The mission and overall objective of the Port Authority is to drive sustainable, equitable and smart logistics investments. 

The following sustainable building practices have been implemented in buildings north of I-80 through partnership agreements between the Port Authority and developers:

  • Thermal mass panels
  • Low VOC paints
  • Skylights
  • LED lighting
  • Solar energy
  • LEED certifiable
  • Low water use, natural landscaping
  • EV charging stations

Additionally, the Port Authority is actively working with the National Audubon Society to secure and preserve the land that municipalities have designated and zoned as natural areas. Additionally, UIPA and Audubon are working to impose a buffer to separate and protect the critical shorebird and related habitat of the Great Salt Lake.

UIPA is also working with municipalities to develop a storm water and water quality master plan for the jurisdictional area.

10. I am concerned about the port for many reasons. First of all. I have a baby granddaughter who is already in danger when e have poor air days. Adding more pollution as frisée truck and train traffic increases will make dirty air more common and worse.  The port will most likely not pay high wages to most workers. Before the pandemic Utah already struggled finding enough workers plus housing is an issue as there is not enough affordable housing. Additionally. The area is a corridor for birds and in order for people to work in this wetland area. There will be a lot of mosquito spraying which decrease food for birds and endangers bees. The port may also be a transport hub for coal which we should be weaning ourselves from. There are few advantages to the port and any small economic ones will be lost due to the increased health costs.

As residents of Utah the environment and air quality are among our top priorities. It is important to note that the Port Authority does not own any land nor do we have land use authority. Land is privately owned and land use belongs to local municipalities including Salt Lake City, West Valley City, and Magna Township.  

The land within the jurisdiction has been entitled by the municipalities and will be developed with or without the Port Authority. The mission and overall objective of the Port Authority is to drive sustainable, equitable and smart logistics investments.

In October 2020, the Port Authority signed the Utah Climate and Clean Air Compact with more than 100 Utah business, government, faith, and civic leaders. The compact’s vision is to be responsible stewards of Utah’s future and the future of children here and around the world. UIPA is working to promote sustainable industry practices and reduce emissions.

UIPA Executive Director Jack Hedge also sits on the Utah Clean Cities Coalition Board of Trustees. Utah Clean Cities is an organization that focuses on decarbonizing fleets, clean fuel strategies and investment.

Over the last year the Authority has signed 12 agreement and /or partnerships focused on sustainability. Including an agreement with the National Audubon Society. The Authority is committed to protecting the surrounding area and is working with landowners and the Audubon Society on conservation easements, storm water policy, dark sky lighting and more.

11. I’m grateful to have a chance to speak as a concerned citizen. I’m a born-and-raised resident of Utah. I’m a writer and a teacher. For two years, I’ve been researching air quality in the state. It is clear that Utah has an air quality problem, not a “logistics” problem, a word that has appeared throughout the Port’s documents. Getting our Amazon packages even faster does not seem to weigh in comparison when talking about the billions of dollars in direct and indirect costs of our air quality, to say nothing of the well-researched thousands of deaths per year, and the long-term environmental degradation that is no longer a possibility but an unfolding, indisputable reality. While I appreciate the gestures toward greener energy in the Port proposal, no amount of rhetoric can erase the fact that we have not figured out how to offset this level of industry pollution, regulate transportation in the ways theorized, actually protect our rare wildlife, or negate the invisible but none-the-less poisonous effects of the port. Even without the proposed port and transloading facility, research shows our air reduces life expectancy by two years for the average Utahan. What would it be after this proposal? This does not represent the creative, community-minded Utah I know and believe in. We need industry that will invest in our real long-term future, actually supporting local business and truly renewable, sustainable energy. We need industry that will not systematically and disproportionally affect vulnerable communities and people of color. We need transparency. This is short-sighted, big-business-minded, and one of the most dangerous proposals of tax-payer dollars in the history of the state. Short-sighted proclamations about how this will improve rural Utah are missing the larger picture. We are all impacted, but the most vulnerable populations always feel it hardest. Including those who lack the education to know the true danger of this port and transloading facility. History is watching. For our collective future and our children who will reap the punishments of this unimaginative vision of growth, I want to be on the record as opposed.

As residents of Utah the environment and air quality are among our top priorities. It is important to note that the Port Authority does not own any land nor do we have land use authority. Land is privately owned and land use belongs to local municipalities including Salt Lake City, West Valley City, and Magna Township.  

The land within the jurisdiction has been entitled by the municipalities and will be developed with or without the Port Authority. The mission and overall objective of the Port Authority is to drive sustainable, equitable and smart logistics investments.

In October 2020, the Port Authority signed the Utah Climate and Clean Air Compact with more than 100 Utah business, government, faith, and civic leaders. The compact’s vision is to be responsible stewards of Utah’s future and the future of children here and around the world. UIPA is working to promote sustainable industry practices and reduce emissions.

UIPA Executive Director Jack Hedge also sits on the Utah Clean Cities Coalition Board of Trustees. Utah Clean Cities is an organization that focuses on decarbonizing fleets, clean fuel strategies and investment.

Over the last year the Authority has signed 12 agreement and /or partnerships focused on sustainability. Today, the Authority is developing truck parking that will bring trucks out of neighborhoods and off the sides of roads. Providing a safe location for drivers to park overnight, plug-in and turn OFF their engines and reduce emissions year-round. Today, the Authority is working with both the Class I and short-line rail to re-align the tracks and de-conflict at-grade crossings that currently run through westside neighborhoods, blocking traffic for hours each day.

12. I am contacting you today in opposition of the proposed inland port. I have lived in Salt Lake City my whole life and I recently turned 18 meaning I am now able to vote. As someone who is native to Salt Lake City I have grown up experiencing the incredible nature of our inland sea and namesake, Great Salt Lake. In sixth grade I was able to attend a field trip to its wetlands where I learned about the over 7 and a half million birds that make the Lake their home. I was able to eat pickle weed and take part in science explorations dealing with the oolitic sand that is unique to this ecosystem. By going forward with the proposed inland port on these very same wetlands, you are making sure that no other kids after me will ever get that opportunity.

I also grew up with severe asthma, to the extent that I couldn’t go outside for recess in the winter. If the proposed inland port proceeds, it would accelerate the drying up of the lake bed, causing dust storms that would make our already terrible air pollution 10x worse, and would decrease snowpack in the winter which would be detrimental to the skiing industry and therefore our economy.

Along with witnessing the beauty of the lake as I have grown up, I have also seen the lengths people will go to to protect it.


I was working for the Salt Lake City Council two years ago when hundreds of concerned and passionate citizens came out to voice their opposition to the port, both through protest and public comment. I witnessed my representatives as well as many of the people on this board disregard the citizens they are supposed to listen to. I was unable to join in the protest then but I am able to today.

I am urging you to stop moving forward with this abhorrent excuse to make money, that threatens the education of our youth, the health of our citizens, and the integrity of one of the most incredible natural landscapes Utah has to offer. Thank you for your time.

As residents of Utah the environment and air quality are among our top priorities. It is important to note that the Port Authority does not own any land nor do we have land use authority. Land is privately owned and land use belongs to local municipalities including Salt Lake City, West Valley City, and Magna Township.

Over the last year the Authority has signed 12 agreement and /or partnerships focused on sustainability. Including an agreement with the National Audubon Society. The Authority is committed to protecting the surrounding area and is working with landowners and the Audubon Society on conservation easements, stormwater policy, water quality, dark sky lighting and more.

Additionally, there is a buffer area that was created to separate and protect the critical shorebird and related habitat of the Great Salt Lake from development.

The following sustainable building practices have been implemented in buildings north of I-80 through partnership agreements between the Port Authority and developers:

  • Thermal mass panels
  • Low VOC paints
  • Skylights
  • LED lighting
  • Solar energy
  • LEED certifiable
  • Low water use, natural landscaping
  • EV charging stations

In October 2020, the Port Authority signed the Utah Climate and Clean Air Compact with more than 100 Utah business, government, faith, and civic leaders. The compact’s vision is to be responsible stewards of Utah’s future and the future of children here and around the world. UIPA is working to promote sustainable industry practices and reduce emissions.

UIPA Executive Director Jack Hedge also sits on the Utah Clean Cities Coalition Board of Trustees. Utah Clean Cities is an organization that focuses on decarbonizing fleets, clean fuel strategies and investment.

Additionally, the Port Authority has a seat on the board of Utah State University’s Advancing Sustainability through Powered Infrastructure for Roadway Electrification (ASPIRE) Center. This center is working towards widespread electrification of all vehicle classes, improved air quality, and public infrastructure that provides an inexpensive, seamless charging experience. UIPA, ASPIRE and Rocky Mountain Power have partnered to launch a pilot program focused on transportation electrification research and advancement as well as innovative energy technologies.

13. The meeting that I am currently attending Ben Hart suggested a limit to public attendees and comment periods.

Do you feel limiting the amount of public people attending and shortening the time for comments will increase input and transparency?

The UIPA will never limit the number of public attendees during one of our meetings and complies with the Open and Public Meetings Act. We welcome all public comments and questions through our website, which are all answered on the “Written Public Comment” page on our website. They can be found under the board tab. Additionally, commonly asked questions and topics will be added to our FAQ page. 

14. On many occasions, but specifically at the December 2 UIPA Board meeting, it has been brought to the board’s attention that excellent data suggests the pollution imprint of a fully built Inland Port will exact hundreds of millions and possibly billions of dollars of economic costs on local communities in the form of dollars spent on pollution related health diseases and premature death.  How has the board addressed this concern and factored it into a comprehensive cost/benefit analysis of the port?

Is Michael Jensen still qualified to serve on the UIPA board now that he has relinquished his Salt Lake County Council seat?  Should he resign?

Is Senator Buxton concerned about the questionable introduction of SB 243 less than a week before the end of the legislative session?  Senator Buxton serves on the Senate Committee that considered the bill and heard Senator Stevenson describe how he finished the bill the day before while he was sitting in church.  Is this professional or good business?  Is the UIPA Board concerned that such a hastily prepared lending operation will do anything but tank the state coffers on bad ideas and set the Inland Port up for failure?

Has the UIPA Board considered approaching owners of wetland habitat land within and around the jurisdiction to establish fair market value for their land?  Has the UIPA board considered that maintaining conservation easements on wetland habitat will be the most advantageous use of the land for the State of Utah and industrial workers currently within the jurisdiction?

UIPA used a robust data-gathering process while preparing our 2020-2024 strategic business plan, which enables us to make data-driven decisions on how we can improve environmental and economic outcomes. The plan includes the best available data sources analyzed using both regional and national modeling techniques, giving the most complete look to date at industry and community conditions and impacts in Utah. The planning process was led by CPCS, a national consulting firm that specializes in transportation and logistics analysis and policy.

The baseline data shows what is currently happening and what is forecasted if nothing alters current practices. This information can be found in the plan itself, technical appendix, and scenarios comparison on our strategic business plan page.

While the Utah Inland Port Authority does not have land-use authority or environmental regulatory authority within inland port areas, we work to initiate and incentivize sustainable development standards. We encourage the development and use of cost-efficient renewable energy in project areas and pursue policies to avoid or minimize negative environmental impacts of development.

There are misconceptions about the requirement for an environmental impact study (EIS) as part of UIPA’s work. The Port Authority has not drafted an environmental impact study because we have not embarked on any development that triggers the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process.

Michael Jensen will continue his seat on the UIPA board as designated.

SB243 was a working document containing legislation that directly impacted multiple agencies included in the bill. Due to scheduling constraints with writers, drafters, and all agencies included, the bill was not introduced as early in the session as planned.

The Port Authority is actively working with the National Audubon Society to secure and preserve the land that municipalities have designated and zoned as natural areas. Additionally, UIPA and Audubon are working to impose a buffer to separate and protect the critical shorebird and related habitat of the Great Salt Lake.

UIPA is also working with municipalities to develop a storm water and water quality master plan for the jurisdictional area.

15. How many electric heavy-duty trucks currently operate in UIPA jurisdiction?

We currently with ASPIRE on a demonstration project center is working towards widespread electrification of all vehicle classes, improved air quality, and public infrastructure that provides an inexpensive, seamless charging experience. UIPA, ASPIRE and Rocky Mountain Power have partnered to launch a pilot program focused on transportation electrification research and advancement as well as innovative energy technologies. As data becomes available on cargo handling equipment that data will be available on our website and the ASIPRE center website.