Millennium Bulk Terminals files more suits against state over permits for proposed export terminal in Longview

Millennium Bulk Terminals continues efforts to gain essential state permits for its proposed export terminals in Longview. The Daily News reports,

The state Department of Ecology dismissed findings from its own consultants when it wrote the study used to deny permits for the proposed Longview coal dock, Millennium Bulk Terminals argued in a lawsuit filed Monday.

Among the claims is that Ecology’s estimate of cancer risks posed by diesel locomotive emissions are misleading…

In a separate filing Monday, Millennium asked the Shoreline Hearings Board to overturn a decision rejecting two shoreline permits needed for the project. Hearings examiner Mark Schiebmier acted outside his authority when he denied the permits last month, Millennium argues.

Of these two actions, the suit against Ecology is far more complex and intriguing, because it implies that the state manipulated study findings so it could reject the coal terminal.

The story reviews the regulatory challenges facing the project, which we’ve written about previously (see here and here.)  Keep Washington Competitive released a statement quoting former state Attorney General Rob McKenna.

McKenna, who recently penned an op-ed on a similar decision in The Olympian, says the Millennium case is a blatant example of the state’s regulatory process being hijacked by those seeking to block projects that run contrary to their own political agendas. McKenna is currently in private practice with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in Seattle.

“Decisions like these eventually cast doubt on our regulatory process and give potential investors pause before considering operations here in Washington state,” added McKenna. “I support Millennium in their appeal of this decision and hope it shines a bright light on the abuses at work by regulators in our state agencies.”

We’ve pointed out previously, 

The export terminal has faced uncommon – even unprecedented – regulatory hurdles from the outset, as we noted here.

This continues to be a saga worth watching.