May 20, 2024, Ogden Utah

The West Weber Inland Port Project Area Plan has been adopted by the Utah Inland Port Authority (UIPA), through its partnership with Weber County. Individuals connected with the project have stated the plan will adheres to strict wetland preservation regulations. Environmental advocates, members of the Shoshone tribe, and others have expressed concern about the project's potential harm to wetlands and waterfowl in the area and to the health of the Great Salt Lake.

“The County has taken a proactive stance on development in the West Weber Corridor, laying out a sustainable, comprehensive and intelligent approach to managing development,” said Stephanie Russell, Weber County economic development director. “The Commission has established precise mechanisms to scrutinize the influx of development proposals and projects. Their aim is to ensure that only the most suitable projects are chosen and supported, with each contributing to the economic and environmental sustainability not just of the West Weber corridor, but of Northern Utah as a whole.”

The Western Weber General Plan emphasizes short and long-term smart growth and natural resource preservation. The County is adhering to strict wetland and other natural and cultural preservation regulations at the state and federal levels, as well as the UIPA’s wetlands strategy.

"The adoption of the West Weber Project Area Plan by the UIPA Board underlines our commitment to fostering economic growth while ensuring environmental stewardship and respect for community values," said Ben Hart, UIPA executive director. "This project will not only create high-quality jobs but also significantly boost the economic landscape of Northern Utah through thoughtful and strategic industrial development."
The UIPA, a quasi-governmental body, is among several stakeholders involved in the County’s efforts to steer and oversee development in the West Weber Corridor. The project plan was crafted following extensive consultations with local stakeholders, including property owners, environmental advocates and community members. Additionally, the County Commission and Economic Development Department maintain close partnerships and hold regular stakeholder meetings with entities such as: Weber Basin Water Conservancy District, Wasatch Front Regional Council, Utah Department of Transportation, Little Mountain Service Area, West Warren Water, Central Weber Sewer and Utah Division of Water Quality, among others.

“The West Weber Project Area Plan is in complete alignment with the Western Weber General Plan,” said Gage Froerer, Weber County commissioner. “Weber County is leading the way in this development to create thousands of jobs in advanced manufacturing, aerospace and defense and renewable energy for future generations.”

The County's resolution, approved on January 2, 2024, and the project plan address concerns regarding the project area's vision, finance mechanisms and control. While state statute grants the UIPA specific development and financing powers, both the resolution and the project plan specify how and when these powers can be exercised. Moreover, they include an "escape" clause should UIPA deviate from the Western Weber General Plan and the overarching County vision for development in that corridor.

Industry recruitment and development are constrained by several existing state and federal infrastructure and environmental regulations, such as air quality attainment, the absence of water, storm water and sewer infrastructure with long-term capacity.

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