Statement from the Power Past Coal coalition in response to the Cowlitz County Critical Areas Permit
Millennium faces a number of significant hurdles before it can site the largest coal export terminal in North America on the Columbia River. Today’s decision by Cowlitz County to issue one of several permits required by the County does not change this reality. Earlier this year, the Washington Department of Natural Resources denied a key authorization for Millennium to use state-owned land for coal export.
In short, today’s decision does not change the reality of Millennium’s long-shot business venture: coal is a dying industry and this project faces unprecedented grassroots opposition. The Power Past Coal and Stand Up to Oil coalitions recently delivered over one million statements from people opposed to dirty coal and oil export projects. Over 250,000 of those statements were directly related to Millennium. The public recognizes the short-sightedness of tying ourselves to a dirty, dying industry with a questionable business plan. According to the County and Washington state’s environmental impact statement, Millennium’s coal export terminal would increase cancer rates in low income and minority neighborhoods near the terminal. The proposed project’s 16 coal trains a day would snarl traffic at rail crossings throughout the state.
Millennium still needs multiple permits from local, state, and federal agencies. The Washington Department of Ecology is accepting comments through July 27, 2017, on a section 401 permit Clean Water Act for the proposed coal export terminal.
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