The Cowlitz County Commissioners are out with a statement regarding the recent decision by the Shoreline Hearings Board, which rescinded two major permits for the proposed Northwest Innovation Works methanol production and export facility. In yesterday’s statement, the Commissioners say that they recognize the importance of economic development and environmental protections, following that up with the comment that Cowlitz County needs the jobs that would be created by a “quality, environmentally responsible projects” like this one. They say that staff worked closely with all involved to complete a “thorough and rigorous” analysis of the project and its environmental impact. The Commissioners say that county staff relied on the only guidance on greenhouse gas emissions that was available, coming from the Department of Ecology. They say that they’re disappointed by the decision from the SHB, and they say that they’re still committed to working collaboratively to complete the permitting process, and “to bring this important project to Cowlitz County.”
Leaders at the Port of Kalama and at Northwest Innovation Works are still going over the decision and are considering their options. A 30-day window to appeal the decision in Superior Court is now open; they could also file a petition to have the SHB reconsider its decision, a move that has to be made by September 25th. Other legal options may also be available, and those are also being examined.