Joint News Release: Cowlitz County and Department of Ecology - April 7, 2016

Draft environmental review for proposed Longview coal export terminal set for late April release
Public hearings set, comments accepted April 29 through June 13

COWLITZ COUNTY, WA – Cowlitz County and the Washington Department of Ecology plan to release a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Millennium Bulk Terminals – Longview coal export terminal on April 29, 2016, under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).

The draft environmental review will include information on the potential environmental impacts of the project proposal.

Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview LLC proposes to build and operate a terminal to export coal from the site of the former Reynolds Aluminum smelter in Cowlitz County.

“The draft study evaluates impacts and risks, and soon it will be time for the community to review and comment on the findings,” said Elaine Placido, director of Building and Planning for Cowlitz County.

The public will have 45 days, and several ways, to comment on the draft environmental review. Comments can be submitted online and by mail at any time during the comment period from April 29 to June 13, 2016. Three days of public hearings are planned: May 24 in Cowlitz County, May 26 in Spokane, and June 2 in Pasco, with an open house and information available at each event. 

“We know there’s a lot of interest and anticipation for this environmental review, so we want people to know it’s coming out soon so they can be a part of the review process,” said Sally Toteff, director of Ecology’s Southwest Regional Office.

Once released at the end of April, the public can read and download the draft environmental study at www.millenniumbulkeiswa.gov. Public hearings and open houses will be held on:

Presentations will begin at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. and then public comments will be accepted for the duration of the meeting. Speakers will be limited to two minutes. Comments also can be provided to a court reporter or in written format.

During the comment period, comments can be submitted online or mailed. Only comments received during the official comment period will be considered by the agencies. The comments should provide feedback on the studies and analysis in the environmental review.

Cowlitz County and Ecology are co-lead agencies studying the potential environmental impacts of the proposal. A separate draft federal EIS is being prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. After the comment period ends, all comments will be reviewed and considered for the final EIS. When the final EIS is released, then the permitting process would begin for required local, state and federal permits.

Contact:

Elaine Placido, Cowlitz County Director of Building & Planning, 360-577-3052 ext. 6662

Lisa Copeland, Ecology communications, 360-407-6990, @ecologyWA