Latest News

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 9:15am
Statement from Millennium Bulk Materials
 
Agencies in Olympia are again attempting to re-interpret the law to deny Southwest WA, and especially Longview, the opportunities for growth and family-wage jobs that are so needed in the community.

This morning, Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview was told Ecology was denying a routine water quality certification.  This certification is commonly known as the “401 cert.”- after the section of the federal law that created this requirement. 

Ecology appears to have intentionally avoided decades of law and practice defining the Clean Water Act, and more surprisingly to have overlooked the many positive findings of fact in the Final EIS they published—no adverse impacts water quality, wetlands or fisheries.

Millennium will appeal the decision.

It is important to understand that Ecology did not justify its denial based on the coal that would be handled by Millennium’s proposed export terminal.  In fact, just over a year ago Ecology issued Trans Alta a water quality decision for the Centralia facility that stores the same type and  quantity of coal.

Instead, Ecology argued the impacts of rail traffic and vessel traffic outside of the project boundaries created “too many unavoidable and negative impacts”.  Yet the number of trains and vessels serving Millennium will be within the range of historic traffic numbers in the area for vessels and trains. 

Ecology also relied on an interpretation that normal in-water work necessary to construct, operate, and maintain docks and port infrastructure created too many impacts to allow the project to move forward.  However, the work proposed by Millennium is similar to work routinely completed by ports and private dock owners along the Columbia and Snake Rivers, Grays Harbor, and throughout Puget Sound. 

The basis for Ecology’s rejection of Millennium’s 401 cert could equally apply to any new project generating rail or vessel traffic in the state.  The agency’s decision could possibly even limit the operations of current manufacturing and trade facilities.  Even if the agency doesn’t apply this decision to other permits, opponents can always turn to the courts to argue this decision for Millennium should also block future projects.

Despite this unfair decision, Millennium is committed to moving forward with the project and will continue to pursue other permits necessary for the construction and operation of the coal export facility. 

One of those permits will be issued by Cowlitz County. The comment period for that permit is open for a few more days (until Oct 7). Given today's news, we would greatly appreciate if you would add your voice and submit a comment. Will you click below and add your name? It's extremely easy and will help get us across the finish line.  

Comment Today!

Millennium is confident it will ultimately receive a fair and unbiased decision based on the facts.  This decision will result in the necessary permits to create over 1,000 jobs in our community while supporting many jobs in other communities across the West.

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.
Thursday, August 6, 2015 - 9:45pm

It was a beautiful day yesterday at the Port of Kalama as Gov. Inslee oversaw the signing of the construction agreement between NW Innovation Works (NWI) and Johnson-Matthew Technologies to provide ultra low emission reforming technology to the $1.8 billion methanol manufacturing facility. The CEDC began working on this project in collaboration with the Port, Chinese officials and many other partners in the Fall of 2013. It is rewarding to see the incredible progress that has been made due to the dedication of NWI, the Port, the State and Cowlitz County. The project is projected to bring 1,000 construction jobs and over 200 family wage jobs to the Port and Cowlitz County. Fun to celebrate the progress!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2015 - 2:45pm

Please see our latest newsletter 7/15 - - http://www.cowlitzedc.com/newsletters

Pages