Washington intervenes on Longview coal depot
By Christina Williams, Sustainable Business Oregon
Sustainable Business Oregon
Washington's Department of Ecology filed a motion Tuesday to intervene in the complaint filed against Cowlitz County and Millennium Bulk Logistics by a coalition of renewable energy and environmental groups protesting plans for a large coal depot to be built in Longview.
The Department of Ecology, which will need to issue permits for the coal-handling facility, stated in the motion that the department "seeks to intervene in this case to ensure that its comments, especially as they relate to greenhouse gas analysis, are adequately addressed" during the permitting process.
The move was applauded by opponents to the depot, which would be used to ship coal to Asia.
"We are very pleased that the state is calling for full disclosure of the risks to Washington’s environment posed by this coal export facility," said Jan Hasselman, an attorney for Earthjustice, who filed the original appeal. "We see this appeal as essential to protecting the health and future of Washington."
Climate Solutions, a business group active in Washington and Oregon also joined the opposition.
According to the coalition, the proposed export facility would ship 5 million tons of coal to Asia annually, an amount they say is roughly equal to the amount of coal burned in the whole state of Washington. In the original complaint, the coalition claimed the permit for the facility did not consider the greenhouse gas impacts of burning coal in Asia, the effects of increasing a demand for U.S. coal, and the emissions and environmental impacts associated with transporting the coal.
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