MILLENNIUM BULK TERMINALS - LONGVIEW SUES ECOLOGY DIRECTOR FOR BIAS
LONGVIEW, WA – Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview (Millennium) today filed a complaint against Ecology and its Director, Maia Bellon, for violating state and federal law and the U.S. and State of Washington Constitutions by “intentionally misapplying the Clean Water Act and State Environmental Protection Act to deprive Millennium of its rights, privileges and immunities.”
Millennium continues its commitment to press forward with efforts to construct a coal export terminal in Longview and bring much-needed jobs to the communities of Southwest Washington by seeking an impartial court review of Ecology’s actions.
“Director Bellon and her team ignored their responsibilities under the Clean Water Act,” said Wendy Hutchinson, Senior Vice President for Millennium. “Had the laws been applied as the Clean Water Act requires, Millennium would already have our water quality certification.”
“We look forward to our day in court and have the utmost confidence in the judicial system’s ability to appropriately apply the law,” Hutchinson concluded.
The complaint reiterates a fact Millennium’s leadership has stated frequently: The Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) issued April of 2017 by Ecology and Cowlitz County unequivocally concluded that Millennium’s project would not have a significant environmental effect on water quality, fish wetlands or aquatic resources, and that any potential impacts could be fully mitigated.
Millennium’s complaint contends the following:
“Instead of giving Millennium the fundamental procedural and substantive process it was due, Ecology cherry-picked non-water-quality effects found in the EIS as a pretext to veto the water quality certification—and the project – altogether. …It is well established in this state that the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) may not be used “to block the construction of projects, merely because they are unpopular.” Parkridge v. City of Seattle, 89 Wn.2d 545. 573 P.2d 359, 366 (1978)”
“Instead of answering the single question Congress authorized Ecology to answer under CWA section 401 – whether discharges caused by the construction and operation of Millennium’s proposed Project would violate applicable state water quality standards – Ecology decided for the first time in its history to answer a different question altogether. Ecology decided instead to use the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) to deny certification “with prejudice” to in effect, veto the project using non-water-quality factors that are prohibited from consideration under CWA section 401(a)(1).”
“Ecology used conclusions from the Environmental Impact Statement about air emissions from trains, other interstate rail induced effects, and effects from increased vessel traffic on the Columbia River to summarily deny the certification.” Both the complaint and appeal were filed in Cowlitz County Superior Court. Millennium filed its first complaint against the Department of Ecology and Director Bellon last October.
Both the complaint and appeal were filed in Cowlitz County Superior Court. Millennium filed its first complaint against the Department of Ecology and Director Bellon last October.
About Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview
Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview is an operating bulk materials port on the Columbia River which was previously an aluminum smelter. Millennium has made a commitment to the environmental cleanup and redevelopment of this 1940’s era industrial site. This facility is now a vibrant, world-class port that will provide family-wage jobs and help keep Longview and Cowlitz County working. In addition to the coal export facility, Millennium is seeking development of the site for other bulk commodity import and export opportunities.
Facts and Figures
2,650 direct and indirect jobs$680 million private investment in Cowlitz County$43.1 million in state and local taxes during construction$5.4 million in state and local taxes each year when fully operationalSupported by 15 labor unions and endorsed by Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce