Army Corps of Engineers to require EIS for Millennium Bulk Export Terminal proposal
Release no. 12-018
Public Affairs Office
Seattle – The Army Corps of Engineers has evaluated a proposal from Millennium Bulk Terminals Longview, LLC, to construct a coal export terminal along the Columbia River west of Longview, Wash. The Corps has determined that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be necessary to document potential effects of the proposal as required under the National Environmental Policy Act.
The proposed terminal would consist of railcar unloading, coal storage, and ship loading facilities, including two new piers and vehicle access ramp, with a nominal ship loading capacity of 44 million metric tons per year. Four coal stockpile pads served by a balloon track with parking for eight trains, two ship loader systems, and appurtenant facilities and infrastructure would be constructed. The project also includes a proposal to dredge approximately 500,000 cubic yards of substrate in the Columbia River and conduct periodic maintenance dredging to allow docking of Panamax-class ships at the piers. Dredged material would be disposed in the flow lane of the Columbia River.
The Corps evaluated the significance of the proposal in context and intensity, as required under NEPA, concluded that the proposed project may have a significant impact on the environment, and is therefore moving forward with preparation of an EIS.
“Based on the proposal description and potential impacts presented, authorization of the project would be a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment and therefore require preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement to comply with NEPA,” said Seattle District Regulatory Branch Chief Muffy Walker.
The scoping process for this action will occur after a notice of intent to prepare an EIS and conduct scoping meetings has been published in the Federal Register. The scoping process will allow for public input into the breadth of issues to be covered in the EIS.
“The Corps seeks a thorough understanding of all potential environmental effects and will work to make sure we have the most current, accurate and relevant information about the proposal’s potential impacts to the environment,” said Corps Regulatory Branch Chief Muffy Walker. “The Corps is just beginning its permit application review. We understand the high interest in this proposal, and we will seek public involvement and conduct a thorough agency review prior to reaching any decision.”
For more information about the Corps’ regulatory program, please see our webpage at www.nws.usace.army.mil by clicking on “Regulatory” under the “Business With Us” tab at the top of the page.