For immediate release: January 3, 2017
Statement on Washington Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Decision to Deny Lease for Columbia River Coal Export Terminal
Michael Lang, Conservation Director, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, 503-490-3979
Brett VandenHeuvel, Executive Director, Columbia Riverkeeper, 503-348-2436, 541.387.3030
Dave Hale, Landowners & Citizens for a Safe Community, 360-520-1753
Jan Hasselman, Earthjustice, 206-343-7340 x 1025
Kimberly Larson, Communications Director, Climate Solutions, 206-388-8674
Statement from Michael Lang, Friends of the Columbia Gorge 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:
“In a statement issued today, Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark has denied the lease for the Millennium Bulk Terminal coal export proposal in Longview, WA
. The decision should mean the end for the proposed coal export terminal, which would have been the largest coal export terminal in the U.S. If approved, the project would have transported 44 million tons of coal per year through the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in open-topped coal cars. This is a victory for the Columbia River Gorge, the City of Longview and for our climate.”
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 Jan. 3, 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.