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Longview Coal Terminal Project Hits Hurdle

first_imgzoom US-based terminal operator Millennium Bulk Terminals has encountered an obstacle in its plans to construct and operate the largest coal export terminal in North America as it was denied a water quality permit for the project.The Washington Department of Ecology denied the permit because the coal export terminal near Longview “would have caused significant and unavoidable harm to nine environmental areas.” These areas include air quality, vehicle traffic, vessel traffic, rail capacity, rail safety, noise pollution, social and community resources, cultural resources, and tribal resources.“After extensive study and deliberation, I am denying Millennium’s proposed coal export project,” Maia Bellon, Ecology Director, said, adding that there are “too many unavoidable and negative environmental impacts for the project to move forward.”Some of the environmental impacts from building the coal terminal would have included filling 24 acres of wetlands, dredging 41.5 acres of the Columbia riverbed, installing 537 pilings in the river for a new trestle and docks, according to the Department of Ecology.This complex project, if built, would have moved 44 million metric tons of coal annually. Coal would have been piled eight stories high and 50 football fields wide at the site.To carry coal overseas, 1,680 new vessel transits would have been added to the Columbia River, accounting for a quarter of all traffic on the river.Millennium needed the state’s water quality certification under the federal Clean Water Act before it could fill wetlands and dredge the riverbed.The company has the option to appeal Ecology’s decision to the state Environmental and Land Use Hearings Office.last_img

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