Millennium Bulk Terminals Longview (MBTL) proposal
Millennium Bulk Terminals – Longview, LLC (MBTL), with members Ambre Energy North America and Arch Coal, has submitted an application for a proposed coal export terminal at the site of the former Reynolds Aluminum smelter, in Cowlitz County. The terminal would ultimately export up to 44 million metric tons of coal annually (please note that metric tons are different from U.S. tons, 44 million metric tons = 48.5 million tons).
MBTL submitted a Joint Aquatic Resources Permit Application (JARPA) for the proposed facility on February 22, 2012.
The JARPA contains permit application information for federal, state, and local
The coal export facility, as proposed, would be capable of receiving, stockpiling, blending and loading coal by conveyor onto ships for export. MBTL proposes bringing coal in by rail to the site, storing coal at the facility, and exporting coal on ships. The proposal includes two stages for the project. Both stages are addressed in the submitted JARPA. Under Stage 1 plans, up to 25 million metric tons of coal would be handled and under Stage 2, the maximum would increase to 44 million metric tons of coal. The complete proposed facility would require construction of eight rail lines, two new docks, two shiploaders, four coal stockpile pads, and associated facilities, conveyors, and equipment.
The submission of the JARPA triggers an environmental review process under the
State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). Both phases of the proposed project will be addressed under SEPA.
Environmental Review Process
For proposals from a private company, the lead SEPA agency is the county where the project is located. Cowlitz County requested Ecology participate as a co-lead agency for the MBTL proposal, and Ecology accepted that request. In October 2012, Ecology, Cowlitz County, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers signed a
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to serve as co-lead agencies that will jointly oversee the preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) under SEPA and the federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Under SEPA, if information indicates a proposal is likely to have a significant adverse environmental impact, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required. The EIS includes an evaluation of alternatives to the proposal and measures that would eliminate or reduce the likely environmental impacts of the proposal. The purpose of an EIS is to inform the public and to provide agency decision-makers with information to make permit decisions.
MBTL has already agreed to the development of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under SEPA in their JARPA application and request for CWA Section 401 Water Quality Certification.
The Army Corps of Engineers has already determined that an EIS will be required for the MBTL proposal under NEPA.
Public involvement opportunities
Public input is a crucial part of the SEPA process and there are several opportunities for individuals or organizations to submit their comments on the MBTL proposal.
- During scoping meetings and the scoping comment period.
As part of the SEPA process to develop an EIS, a scoping period includes public meeting(s) and a public comment period. Co-lead agencies ask other agencies, tribes, local communities, organizations, and the public to comment on what should be analyzed in the EIS. After considering comments, the co-lead agencies will decide what should be included in the draft EIS.
- When the Draft EIS (DEIS) is published.
There will be public hearing(s) and a public comment period on the DEIS. Comments received on the DEIS will be included in the Final EIS (FEIS) along with responses from the co-lead agencies.
- During the permit application review processes of agencies.
- For more information, please see the
Citizens Guide to SEPA Review and Commenting.
Current Activities at Millennium Bulk Terminals - Longview
MBTL currently uses an existing dock to import bulk alumina by vessel. The bulk alumina is stored on site and transported to an Alcoa smelter in Wenatchee. The site is also used to import a small amount of coal by rail for use by the neighboring Weyerhaeuser complex. These existing operations will continue and are separate from the coal export terminal proposal.
Cleanup of the Site
The Reynolds Metals Company owned and operated the site as an aluminum smelter from 1941 to 2000. The smelter was permanently shut down in 2001. Chinook Ventures purchased the facility from Northwest Alloys in 2004. MBTL purchased the facility from Chinook Ventures in 2011. Northwest Alloys, a subsidiary of Alcoa, remains the property owner.
Cleaning up the existing site is Ecology’s first priority for the property. Ecology is overseeing work being done by Northwest Alloys-Alcoa and MBTL to investigate and cleanup the site under the State’s Model Toxics Control Act. Cleanup efforts at the site are already in progress and are handled separately from the coal export terminal proposal.
Related documents (most recent)
Facility Site ID:
West of Longview, Cowlitz County at 46.1364 N/ -123.0047 W
Region: Southwest Regional Office (SWRO)
Ecology Point of Contact:
Southwest Regional Office
Department of Ecology
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May 21, 2013: Cowlitz County, Washington Dept. of Ecology, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Apr 1, 2013: Consultant selected for environmental review of proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals – Longview project
Oct 9, 2012: Ecology, Cowlitz County, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agree on joint environmental review of Millennium coal export proposal
May 18, 2012: Ecology, Cowlitz County to co-lead environmental review of proposed coal terminal near Longview