Skip to main content

Millennium Coal Loses Again

Victory: Proposed coal export terminal suffers another blow, this time from appellate board

Longview in Cowlitz County, WA, the proposed site of the coal export terminal

Alex Butterfield / CC BY 3.0
April 20, 2018
Olympia, WA —

The Washington Shorelines Hearings Board today upheld the denial of shoreline development permits for Millennium Bulk Terminals, an enormous coal export terminal proposed in Longview, Washington. In November 2017, the Cowlitz County Hearing Examiner denied required shorelines permits for the project; Millennium appealed that ruling to the Shorelines Hearings Board, arguing that the Hearing Examiner made legal and factual errors.

The Board agreed with the Washington Department of Ecology and conservation groups that the significant and unavoidable harms found during the environmental and public health review provided a valid basis for denying Millennium’s permits.

“Millennium would cause a host of harms to our air, water, fish, and health, and the Shorelines Hearings Board upheld the decision that these impacts were simply too great under Washington and Cowlitz County laws,” said Kristen Boyles, an Earthjustice attorney representing the conservation groups. “With yet another defeat, Millennium should fold its cards and leave the table.”

The Board also rejected Millennium’s argument that impacts from the coal terminal should be considered in two separate stages, an argument that would have allowed invalid piece-meal review.

“Building the largest coal export terminal in North America would cause unavoidable harm to people and the Columbia River,” said Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky, co-director of the Power Past Coal coalition and senior organizer for Columbia Riverkeeper. “It is time to close the coal export chapter and protect the health of local communities and our climate.”

“The people of Washington have spoken mdash; this project poses too much of a threat to our clean air, clean water and rapidly changing climate,” said Cesia Kearns, Deputy Campaign Director for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign.

The past decade saw seven coal export terminals proposed in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia to great public outcry and opposition. Not one has been constructed.  


Washington Environmental Council, Climate Solutions, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Sierra Club, and Columbia Riverkeeper, represented by Earthjustice, intervened as parties in this case.

Your timing is perfect …

At Earthjustice, we’re more than just lawyers in a courtroom. We’re a nonprofit in the business of building a better future for our planet. Our 135 lawyers measure success in clean air, clean water, and safeguards for communities across the country. We stand alongside our hundreds of public-interest clients at the frontlines of the fight for a better today and tomorrow. Case by case, our lawyers face off against deep-pocketed interests and today’s unprecedented attacks on our environment, health, and climate — and we win.

You have only a few days left to make a tax-deductible donation investing in our work that will immediately triple in value, thanks to a generous first-ever match offer from our Board of Trustees.

Whether you give $5 or $5,000, this will be the best investment you make today.

(Not convinced? Research our legal victories and see our clients, all of whom we represent free of charge.)


Kristen Boyles, Earthjustice, (206) 343-7340, ext. 1033

Overruling Trump.