The Daily News reports that the state Department of Ecology has set back the date for completion of the environmental impact study of a proposed export terminal in Longview.
A schedule that Gov. Jay Inslee’s office agreed to a year ago had Ecology and other lead agencies, along with a consultant, completing the study next month. Ecology only said Thursday morning that it and its partners are discussing a new completion date for the study. Later in the day it clarified that the EIS would be available “as early as possible in 2016.”
Supporters are disappointed.
The announcement is another setback for Millennium Bulk Terminals, which filed for permits on the 44 million metric ton export terminal early in 2012. The plant would take railroad shipments of coal from Wyoming and Montana and ship it to Asian markets. Millennium says it would create 135 permanent jobs. It would cause eight round-trip train visits a day through the Longview industrial corridor.
Mike Bridges, president of the Longview/Kelso Building and Constructions Trade Council, has a commentary on the positive jobs impact and environmental impacts anticipated from the project.
The Millennium project and others like it will create thousands of family-wage jobs for workers here in Washington, thus boosting the middle class in our region. I also believe firmly that breaking ground on this project sooner rather than later will also lead to other business opportunities in the region that will aid in growing our current stagnant economy in Southwest Washington. The extensive permitting process for Millennium will ensure that the terminal meets Washington’s strict environmental laws.
In our foundation report, we said,
In terms of regulatory content, Washington regulations routinely exceed the minimums required by federal law. For example, the state chose to require a global environmental impact statement, rather than a project-specific analysis, for proposed coal export facilities in 2014.
For more on the Millennium Bulk Terminal see this Washington Research Council blog post, with links to additional analysis.