Seattle – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is seeking comments on a proposal by Millennium Bulk Terminals–Longview LLC (MBTL) to construct and operate a shipping terminal to export coal at the site of a former Reynolds Aluminum smelter in Cowlitz County, near Longview, Washington.
MBTL proposes to construct and operate a terminal on a 190-acre site it currently leases. The terminal would receive trains containing coal mined in western states and transfer the coal into ocean-going vessels for export to Asia. The proposed export terminal would consist of one operating rail track, an eight-track rail loop to store up to eight unit trains, rail car unloading facilities, a coal stockpile area, conveyor facilities, and two new docks with independent ship loaders. MBTL proposes to dredge up to 48 acres in the Columbia River to provide access to the Columbia River navigation channel and berthing for Panamax-class vessels at the new docks. At full operation, the export terminal would handle up to 44 million metric tons of coal annually.
MBTL has applied for a Department of the Army permit from the Army Corps under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act. As part of the Department of the Army permit process for this proposal, the Army Corps is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act.
Today, the Army Corps is issuing a public notice seeking comments on both the permit application and Draft EIS. Comments will be accepted through November 29, 2016. A notice of availability will be published in the Federal Register October 7, 2016. The federal DEIS is available on line at: http://www.millenniumbulkeiswa.gov/nepa-draft-eis.html
To access an electronic version of today’s public notice, visit Seattle District’s web page at: http://www.nws.usace.army.mil/ and click on “Regulatory Public Notices” in the “Open Public Comment Periods” section. This page lists recently-issued public notices in reverse chronological order of issuance date. Select the MBTL public notice.
Comments on the Draft EIS may be submitted to the Army Corps by mail, online, or at one of two public hearings. Comments can be submitted by mail or online at the following addresses:
By mail: Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview NEPA EIS
c/o ICF International
710 Second Avenue, Suite 550
Seattle, WA 98104
Those wishing to comment on the Draft EIS in person may attend one of two public hearings scheduled in Longview and Vancouver. Hearings will include an open house, with staff available to answer questions, and public testimony during which the Corps will accept oral public comments.
October 24, 2016
1 to 9 p.m.
Cowlitz County Event Center
1900 7th Avenue
Longview, WA 98632
October 25, 2016
1 to 9 p.m.
Clark County Event Center
17402 NE Delfel Rd.
Ridgefield, WA 98642
During each hearing, the open house will run from 1 to 9 p.m. A brief project description presentation will be given at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Oral public comments will be accepted from 1 to 4 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. following each project presentation.
Comments on the permit application should reference NWS-2010-1225 and be submitted by e-mail or conventional mail.
E-mail comments may be submitted to NWS.MBTL@usace.army.mil. Comments may be sent by conventional mail to:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Regulatory Branch
Attention: Ms. Danette L. Guy
2108 Grand Boulevard
Vancouver, WA 98661
The Corps will review and consider all comments submitted during the public comment period.
Cowlitz County and the Washington State Department of Ecology are preparing a separate EIS under Washington’s State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). They released the SEPA Draft EIS for public review and comment on April 29, 2016. The comment period for the SEPA Draft EIS ended June 13, 2016.
For additional information about the proposed project and the EIS process, please visit http://www.millenniumbulkeiswa.gov/.