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Permits Nixed

Posted on 19th September 2017 at 09:11

The road to development of the $2 billion Northwest Innovation Works methanol production and export facility at the Port of Kalama just got blocked by the Washington Shorelines Hearings Board, which just invalidated two major permits for the facility. In a decision made last Friday, the SHB came down on the side of environmental groups that oppose the project, determining that the Port of Kalama and Cowlitz County failed to fully evaluate the greenhouse gas emissions from the plant. In the summary judgement that was issued on Friday, the SHB says it’s “troubled” by gas emissions from the facility, without additional evaluation of mitigation measures. They state that the plant will emit more than a million tons of greenhouse gases annually, increasing the state’s overall emissions by one percent, all by itself. Columbia Riverkeeeper, the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity are cheering the decision, saying that it validates their previous contentions about the lack of analysis of greenhouse gas emissions from the proposed facility. In a prepared statement, NWIW President Vee Godley that they are evaluating the decision, and they “look forward” to continuing to collaborate with regulators, environmental and business leaders to achieve economic and environmental goals for the state. In its 21-page decision, the SHB states that a 30-day window to appeal the decision to Superior Court is now open.