A LOOK BACK
As we approach the five-year mark since we filed permit applications to build a world-class export terminal in Longview, your unwavering support has seen us through. There have been times that our patience has been tested – but in 2016, we saw remarkable progress. As we embark on 2017, we thought it was worth taking a look back at the last year and all that we’ve accomplished together.
In compliance with the State and National Environmental Policy Acts, the regulators completed massive studies showing our project will be built the right way, meeting all of Washington’s strict environmental standards.
Last spring, in accordance with the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), we completed a 45-day Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) public comment period. Many of these comments offered resounding support from labor, business leaders and elected officials across Southwest Washington, Eastern Washington, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota and Utah. Over 500 community members showed their support at the Longview meeting alone and hundreds more came to meetings in Spokane and Pasco. This strong showing of support was again re-emphasized in the fall, when we completed a 60-day DEIS public comment period under the National Environmental Policy Act.
Support for our project continued to grow last year, as we received endorsements from the Chamber of Commerce in Pasco, Greater Spokane Inc, Benton County, Franklin County and the Washington Farm Bureau. Locally and statewide, the voices of labor unions were significant, as our project was backed by the Building and Construction Trades, the Sheet Metal Air Rail Transportation Union and International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 21, to name a few. In addition, we received a letter of support from the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen signed by regional directors from all six states including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota and Montana.
Twenty-nine senators and representatives of the Washington legislature from both sides of the isle signed a letter of support. Our project has garnered strong support from local leaders, receiving endorsements from the three county commissioners and six out of seven Longview city councilmembers.
To round out our list of accomplishments, we are proud to report we completed our first dredging operation under the Model Toxics Control Act, investing approximately $1 million to clean up aquatic lands owned by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that had been left in disrepair by previous tenants. Millennium also completed a maintenance dredging operation to ensure the existing dock and berth are available for maritime use – and we welcomed our first ship to use this dock as a lay berth.
While 2016 was a monumental year and moves us much closer to breaking ground on a world-class export facility, much work remains ahead. We are looking forward to the regulatory agencies finalizing the Environmental Impact Statements and issuing permits so we can get people working. Your support has been crucial to our success and we ask that you continue to follow our project and stand with us in 2017.