Ecology OKs Permits for Proposed Kalama Port Project

The Washington Department of Ecology has approved a shoreline permit and granted water quality certification tied to a proposed project to manufacture and export methanol at the Port of Kalama.

These are two in a series of required permits from local, state and federal agencies needed to move the proposal forward.

The shoreline permit sets stringent conditions that the Port of Kalama and Northwest Innovation Works (NWIW) – the two entities seeking to construct and operate the industrial facility – must meet to protect the shoreline ecosystem and water quality while requiring site-specific mitigation to offset environmental impacts.

Cowlitz County and the port completed the final environmental review for the project in September 2016.

NWIW and the port sought the shoreline conditional use permit from Cowlitz County because some proposed construction activities and related dredging work are located in and along the Columbia River.

After the county approved the permit, state law requires Ecology to then evaluate the permit application.

Some conditions in Ecology’s shoreline permit require NWIW and the port to:

  • Mitigate greenhouse gas emissions that originate from the methanol plant, consistent with the state clean air rule;
  • Put on-site dredge disposal standards in place, if needed, to protect water quality;
  • Identify and set aside the public access area through a deed restriction or other appropriate method to protect the shoreline environment;
  • Revise the project’s on-site mitigation plan to fully mitigate other shoreline impacts.

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