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Statement on Washington Department of Natural Resources’ Decision to Deny Lease for Columbia River Coal Export Terminal

Coalition of environmentalists applaud major victory for the public
The Columbia River Gorge.

The Columbia River Gorge.

Erik Harrison / Shutterstock
January 4, 2017
Olympia, WA —

Statement from Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky, Columbia Riverkeeper on behalf of the Power Past Coal Coalition, on Washington Department of Natural Resources’ decision to deny aquatic lands sublease for Millennium Bulk Terminals, Longview, WA:

Map of Longview, Washington.
Longview is located along the Columbia River.

“Commissioner Goldmark listened to the public and gave a firm ‘no’ to the largest coal terminal in the country. Millennium started off misleading the public about the intended size of the coal terminal and later ignored Washington state’s request for critical information on their finances. Millennium failed to show they can protect public resources—the Columbia River. We ring in the new year with a major victory for the public, and showing that, once again the Northwest holds the line on dirty fossil fuels.”

Background

Millennium proposes building the nation’s largest coal export terminal on the banks of the Columbia River in Longview, Washington. The project would send 44 million tons of coal per year in uncovered coal trains from the Powder River Basin along the Columbia River and dozens of other waterbodies. Since its inception, the project drew unprecedented opposition. In 2016, Tribes, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and over a dozen cities urged Washington state to deny permits for the project.

Millennium requested a sublease from Washington DNR, which manages state-owned aquatic lands in the Columbia River adjacent to the proposed coal terminal. DNR has broad authority to grant or deny subleases. DNR currently has a lease with NW Alloys, a subsidiary of Alcoa.

On January 3rd, DNR denied Millennium and Alcoa’s request to sublease aquatic land to Millennium. Alcoa is not a partner in Millennium’s coal export venture; however, Alcoa owns the underlying upland lease at the proposed coal export terminal. 

Power Past Coal is represented by EarthJustice and CRAG Law Center.  

Contacts

Jan Hasselman, Earthjustice, (206) 343-7340, ext. 1025

Brett VandenHeuvel, Executive Director, Columbia Riverkeeper, (503) 348-2436, (541) 387-3030

Dave Hale, Landowners & Citizens for a Safe Community, (360) 520-1753

Kimberly Larson, Communications Director, Climate Solutions, (206) 388-8674