Department of Ecology News Release - September 6, 2018
Ecology responds to Millennium appeal of PCHB decision
OLYMPIA – What Millennium did today was to appeal the Aug. 15 Pollution Control Hearings Board’s decision upholding the Washington Department of Ecology’s denial of a water quality certification for the proposed coal terminal in Longview.
We want to affirm that Ecology acted within its authority under the federal Clean Water Act of 1971 and Washington’s State Environmental Policy Act in denying the water quality certification for this project.
Since Ecology denied the water quality permit, the company has filed five separate lawsuits and appeals. Four of those have already been resolved in Ecology’s favor, the fifth is still pending in federal district court. There is no question that our agency followed the law in evaluating the environmental impacts of this proposal, just as there can be no question that this plan would have damaged the water quality of the Columbia River and the health of surrounding communities.
Not content with challenging Ecology’s authority and Washington’s environmental process, the company has lobbied Congress to eviscerate the crucial role the Clean Water Act lays out for states in reviewing these types of projects.
At some point enough has to be enough. The facts of the project have not changed and will not. Our denial of the project stands and we are confident courts at every level will agree with those that have already reviewed that decision. We will not back down from our legal responsibility to protect Washington’s people and environment, including the Columbia River.