Environmental review for a proposed coal terminal near Longview is about to begin now that a scope of study has been initially set by Cowlitz County and the Washington State Department of Ecology.
The information gathered during this phase, which includes analyses, detailed models and other unbiased information, will be used to complete a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).
An EIS is prepared when a proposed project is likely to have significant adverse environmental impacts.
The SEPA co-lead agencies are Cowlitz County and Ecology.
Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview LLC proposes to build and operate a terminal to export coal from the site of the former Reynolds Aluminum smelter.
The purpose of an EIS is to provide a comprehensive look at impacts attributable to the proposal and measures that may be taken to offset such impacts.
The draft EIS will study the standard list of topics identified in SEPA and will look at possible impacts to the natural and built environment.
These topics are called “elements of the environment.” Some issues to be studied touch on more than one SEPA element like possible impacts on health and the local community, and potential impacts from air pollutants (like greenhouse gases and diesel particulates) on Washington state.
The most detailed analysis will be done on probable impacts within Cowlitz County.
The study also will review and evaluate probable impacts in other parts of Washington state.
Outside the state, the study will include less-detailed discussion on probable impacts, including those related to rail and vessel traffic.
Press Release, February 13, 2014