State announces expanded environmental review of Longview commodity export terminal, continuing uncertainty and threatening investment

Today’s announcement that the Department of Ecology will undertake an expanded review of the Millenium Bulk Terminals near Longview confirms expectations that the state would subject the trade terminals – it’s more than coal – to a costly, lengthy, and uncertain permitting process. The announcement prompted swift reaction from the Alliance for NW Jobs and Exports.

“The Millennium terminal represents an opportunity in Southwest Washington for expanded international trade. Forty percent of Washington workers depend on trade for a living and this project will add to that significant number. The state’s decision today threatens to put our future on hold,” said Ted Sprague, President of the Cowlitz Economic Development Council. …

“Washington’s existing environmental review process has worked for years. Millennium in particular will actually help to clean up and improve an old industrial facility,” continued Shannon Walker, president of the Southwest Washington Central Labor Council.

The Research Council published a series of reports examining trade and transportation in our state, exploring the benefits of expanded export trade.

Expanded Commodity Exports Will Create Jobs, Increase Investment  September 10, 2013

Washington Cargo Rides the Rails  August 29, 2013

Export Activity Boosts Washington’s Economy  August 20, 2013

Trade-Dependent Washington Relies on Rail  August 15, 2013

TVW has an interview with Ecology Department director Maia Bellon here. The issue of the export terminals comes up at about the 31 minute mark.