By David Martin

City seeks impact funding


The city is seeking impact assistance funds related to the Ciner expansion project.

Last week, the Green River City Council voted to send a letter to Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality to become a party in future Industrial Siting Council meetings regarding the project.

On June 8, Ciner filed an application with Wyoming DEQ to build its Unit 8 refinery and associated facility to increase its soda ash production by 1.1 million tons a year. According to Wyoming DEQ, the project will encompass 274.2 acres of land, 10.7 acres belonging to Ciner and 263.5 acres of public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management. The application suggests construction will begin during the fourth quarter of 2020 and be completed by the fourth quarter of 2022. At its peak, the project will employ 560 additional workers in December 2021.

The Industrial Siting Division oversees assesses the impacts of major industrial developments in the state, which include transmission lines, power plants and large-scale building projects. One of the more important aspects for local governments is the distribution of impact funding, which helps covers unexpected costs to local governments resulting from developments like the Ciner expansion. Impacts can include increased need for law enforcement and other governmental services related to a sudden increase in temporary workers living in the area, as well as added municipal or county infrastructure improvements to support construction.

In 2018, the local impact funding focused on the Gateway West Transmission Line project Rocky Mountain Power initiated. Green River was left out of the funding model despite Laramie, located further away from construction than Green River, being included in the list of impacted municipalities. During an interview with the Star in 2018, Chris Meats said workers with the Gateway West project likely wouldn’t live in Green River because the rent was too high, saying Rock Springs would likely see the major impacts from the construction project.


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