Department of Ecology News Release - August 15, 2018
Updated: August 15, 2018
Statement on Millennium coal terminal ruling
OLYMPIA – Today, Washington’s Pollution Control Hearings Board, an independent bi-partisan administrative body, upheld the Washington Department of Ecology’s decision rejecting the Millennium coal export terminal proposal.
The decision confirms that the proposal would have significant adverse environmental impacts to the Columbia River and the surrounding community. The project would have destroyed 24 acres of wetlands and led to the loss of five acres of aquatic habitat, required driving 537 pilings into the riverbed, and increased ship traffic in the Columbia River by 25 percent, adding 1,680 ship trips a year.
“The Columbia River is the heartbeat of Washington state, and this project posed a serious threat to its waters and the health of the local community,” said Maia Bellon, Ecology’s director. “I’m pleased that the Pollution Control Hearings Board recognized that Ecology followed the law and appropriately weighed environmental factors in reaching our decision.”
In upholding the state’s denial of the project, the Pollution Control Hearings Board concluded that the federal Clean Water Act does not pre-empt Washington’s State Environmental Policy Act. Ecology denied the application under both the State Environmental Policy Act and under the requirements of the federal Clean Water Act.