Statement from Vee Godley, President, NW Innovation Works

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 9:15am

Statement from Vee Godley, President, NW Innovation Works

The Shorelines Hearings Board issued a decision to all parties involved in the NW Innovation Works Shorelines permitting process.  The Board held that the EIS should not have relied on the Department of Ecology’s SEPA Greenhouse Gas Guidance document.  We are disappointed in the Shorelines Hearings Board’s order because the EIS followed both the letter and intent of Ecology’s guidance.  While Ecology has indicated that it is in the process or reviewing and updating that guidance, the existing guidance document remains the only guidance in Washington for how an EIS should evaluate greenhouse gas impacts, and Ecology’s website continues to direct state and local governments to use this guidance.   We understand that the environmental policy in this state is evolving and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with regulators, stakeholders, and environmental and business leaders to do our part to provide greater certainty and positive impact for our state’s economic and environmental goals.”  

From this morning’s Daily News - - Cowlitz County this week asked the state shorelines hearings board to reconsider parts of its decision to reverse two key permits needed for the $1.8 billion project.  In its petition, the county largely agreed to follow the board’s demands to conduct a more thorough review of the impact of greenhouse gas emissions.  The Port of Kalama also filed documents this week supporting the County petition. Northwest spokesman Richard DeBolt said the company remains committed to the $1.8 billion project, which would turn natural gas into methanol for making plastics in Asia. “We’re committed to finishing this (environmental review) process, and we’ll keep moving forward,” DeBolt said.