KELSO – Cowlitz County approved a contract today for environmental consulting company ICF International to help local, state and federal governments prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to evaluate a proposed coal export terminal along the Columbia River near Longview, Wash.
Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview, LLC, proposes to build and operate a coal export terminal at the site of the former Reynolds Aluminum smelter in Cowlitz County.
Cowlitz County, the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) are co-leads jointly managing the environmental review process for the proposed terminal project. After the contractor was selected in April through the county’s public competitive bidding process, negotiations for the contract took place. The contract was approved by the Cowlitz County Board of Commissioners on May 21.
The signing of a Notice to Proceed is planned for May 22, and then the co-leads and consultant team will begin work on the first phase of the EIS – the scoping process – including setting a time frame.
Through scoping, the agencies seek input from the public, communities, tribes and agencies on what they recommend should be included in the EIS and assistance in identifying issues and concerns, such as factors to analyze and geographic areas to consider. Subsequent phases of the EIS process include research and preparing the draft and final EIS document.
The dates for the scoping period have not yet been set nor have dates and locations for scoping meetings. The contractor will help the co-lead agencies ensure that the public receives information on the status of the environmental review, public comment periods, the time and location of public meetings and hearings, and other pertinent information throughout scoping and other phases of the EIS process.
People can sign up to receive email announcements regarding public comment periods and meetings at http://listserv.wa.gov/cgi-bin/wa?A0=WA-MILLENNIUM-EIS.
The agencies will oversee the EIS consultant’s work. Millennium will pay all costs through an arrangement with the county but will not be allowed direct contact with the consultant during the environmental review process, except with permission of the three agencies.