Energy | Ecotrope

Millenium pulls coal export permit, starts over

Ecotrope | March 16, 2011 8:44 a.m. | Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 1:40 p.m.

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A coal-export facility got approval from Cowlitz County to set up shop at a private dock in Longview, Wash. But environmental groups appealed the approval, and now the company has agreed to withdraw the permit application and go through a longer, more rigorous permitting process with a complete environmental review.

A coal-export facility got approval from Cowlitz County to set up shop at a private dock in Longview, Wash. But environmental groups appealed the approval, and now the company has agreed to withdraw the permit application and go through a longer, more rigorous permitting process with a complete environmental review.

Late yesterday afternoon, Millenium Bulk Logistics announced the company is withdrawing its permit for the proposed coal export terminal in Longview, Wash., and starting the approval process over so the company can do “a more detailed evaluation of potential environmental impacts for the full array of proposed bulk material products.”

Joe Cannon, Millenium CEO, said:

“To show our continued commitment as a good neighbor, we will do an Environmental Impact Statement to address concerns that have been raised about this project, and we will ensure that all parties continue to have a voice in the process going forward. We will also do a site capacity analysis to evaluate the impacts of proposed bulk commodities in various amounts – including coal, alumina and cement. We believe this is the best way forward for both the community and the project.”

Brett VandenHeuvel, executive director of the project opponent group Columbia Riverkeeper, said the withdrawal is a victory for his group, which appealed the permit approval and demanded withdrawal. He said the company executives knew they would lose the case after internal documents revealed they were planning to export a lot more coal than they had claimed in their permit application.

“Millennium was trying to hide the serious public health impacts and traffic congestion caused by thousands of dirty coal trains and a dusty terminal,” said VandenHeuvel. “Millennium got caught being dishonest and was forced to withdraw their permit.”

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