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Category Archives: Kalama Methanol Manufacturing and Marine Export Facility

PORT TAKES LEGAL ACTION TO COMPEL TIMELY REVIEW OF KALAMA METHANOL PROJECT

Today, the Port of Kalama filed a petition with the Cowlitz County Superior Court to prevent the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) from further delaying review of the Kalama Methanol Manufacturing and Export Facility. The petition for a constitutional writ of certiorari asks the court to order Ecology to cease preparation of an unnecessary second supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) on the Kalama Methanol Manufacturing and Export Facility and to comply with the timeline required by law. Under state statute Ecology was required to decide within 30 days of Cowlitz County’s (County) transmittal to Ecology on September 11, 2019.

“After a great deal of consideration of the options available, the Port reluctantly filed this action against Ecology. The existing environmental review of the project is more than adequate, exceeding all requirements and addressing all of Ecology’s comments and questions,” said Mark Wilson, Executive Director of the Port of Kalama. “The Port, the County and the project proponent, Northwest Innovation Works (NWIW) are entitled to have the existing documents reviewed and a decision made.”

The Port’s lawsuit outlines a variety of inconsistencies in Ecology’s standards:

• Treating the project’s shoreline permits as new applications and ignoring the permits that were in place and reinstated by order of the Cowlitz County Superior Court;
• Reversing course on what constitutes an adequate scope for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) impact analysis; and
• Calling a 100 percent Voluntary GHG Mitigation Program inadequate when they previously required only a 1.7 percent mitigation measure.

When Governor Inslee reversed his position about this project, he promised that his stance would not change the state’s regulatory process and objective review of this and similar projects. But now Ecology intends to conduct an unwarranted second SEIS at taxpayers’ expense, likely duplicating existing work and creating needless delay. Last week, the Governor’s budget request for Ecology included $600,000 of funding to “supplement” the SEIS. The size of this request creates questions around the intended scope of the review.

Wilson added, “Ecology cannot hide behind repeated calls for more analysis, when the comprehensive review that the Port and the County have completed in the SEIS and the 100 percent mitigation offered by NWIW exceeds anything ever done in the state—including anything ever done by Ecology. It’s time to decide.”

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Kalama Methanol Permit Review / Ecology Information

Port of Kalama echoes the County frustration with how Ecology has handled its review including its request for more information in the October 9, 2019 letter. In particular, we agree with the County that Ecology is ignoring the unprecedented offer of greenhouse gas mitigation. We join the County in the strong belief that it is time to have this project reviewed by the Shoreline Hearings Board because we are confident that it will stand up to that scrutiny. For details see below.

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Methanol Manufacturing Facility Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement Released

The Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) for the proposed construction and operation of the Kalama Manufacturing and Marine Export Facility was released today by the co-lead agencies, Port of Kalama and Cowlitz County.

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Methanol Manufacturing Facility FSEIS Released

The Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) for the proposed construction and operation of the Kalama Manufacturing and Marine Export Facility was released today by the co-lead agencies, Port of Kalama and Cowlitz County.

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Port of Kalama Manufacturing and Marine Export Facility

Today, Governor Inslee made an announcement pertaining to the proposed Kalama Methanol Manufacturing and Marine Export Facility project.  As stated in the Governor’s press release, this does not change the state regulatory process, currently underway. The Port and County will continue to complete the supplemental environmental review, with the Final Supplemental EIS expected to be completed late this summer.

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PUBLIC HEARING: Kalama Manufacturing & Marine Export Facility, December 13th, 6 to 9 pm, Cowlitz County Event Center

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING:

Kalama Manufacturing & Marine Export Facility

December 13th, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm; doors open at 5:00 pm.

Cowlitz County Event Center located at 1900 7th Avenue, Longview, WA 98632

Purpose of this Notice:  The purpose of this notice is to inform the public that the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Draft Supplemental EIS) for the Kalama Manufacturing and Marine Export Facility (the proposed project) is being released for public review and comment. A public hearing will be conducted where the public may comment on the Draft Supplemental EIS. An expanded comment period will begin on November 13, 2018 and end on December 28, 2018. All comments received during the comment period will be reviewed and considered in the preparation of the Final Supplemental EIS.

Description of Proposal:  NW Innovation Works, LLC – Kalama (NWIW) proposes to develop and operate a natural gas-to-methanol production plant and storage facilities on approximately 90 acres in the Port of Kalama (Port). The proposed project objective is the manufacture and shipment of methanol to global markets, primarily in Asia for use as a feedstock for manufacturing olefins used in the production of plastics and other materials. Natural gas will be delivered to the methanol plant via a proposed new transmission pipeline lateral. Northwest Pipeline GP will be responsible for obtaining permits for and constructing this pipeline, extending from its existing pipeline approximately three miles through unincorporated Cowlitz County and the City of Kalama. Methanol will be transferred by pipeline across Port property from the storage area to a deep draft marine terminal on the Columbia River including a new dock and new berth with associated dredging.

The Draft Supplemental EIS supplements the previously prepared Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) issued for the proposed project on 30 September 2016 with additional analysis and consideration of mitigation for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions attributable to the project. The Supplemental EIS is being prepared to address findings by the Washington State Shoreline Hearings Board in its 15 September 2017 Order on Motions for Partial Summary Judgment (SHB No. 17‐010c) and the Cowlitz County Superior Court Order Affirming in Part and Reversing in Part the Shorelines Hearings Board Order dated 15 September 2017 (Superior Court Case No. 17-2-01269-08).

The Supplemental EIS includes a GHG life-cycle analysis covering the following sources of GHG emissions:

(1) GHG emissions attributable to construction of the project;

(2) On-site direct GHG emissions from the project;

(3) GHG emissions from purchased power, including consideration of the potential sources of generation that would satisfy the new load;

(4) GHG emissions potentially attributable to the project from natural gas production, collection, processing, and transmission;

(5) GHG emissions from shipping methanol product to a representative Asian port; and

(6) GHG emissions associated with changes in the methanol industry and related markets that may be induced by the proposed project’s methanol production.

Based on this GHG life cycle analysis and voluntary mitigation measures proposed by the applicant, the Draft Supplemental EIS finds that there are no unavoidable significant adverse impacts due to GHG emissions.

Proponent:  Northwest Innovation Works LLC and the Port of Kalama.

Location of the Proposal:  The project would be located on land leased from the Port. The site is located on the Columbia River in unincorporated Cowlitz County.  It is accessible from Tradewinds Road, a private Port road.

State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Co-Lead Agencies: The Port of Kalama and Cowlitz County are co-lead agencies. The Port is the nominal lead, responsible for complying with the SEPA lead agency duties for the SEPA review process.

Availability of Draft Supplemental EIS copies:  The Draft Supplemental EIS and supporting documents are available for viewing and downloading at https://kalamamfgfacilitysepa.com and copies of the document are also available for review at the following locations:

Port of Kalama Administrative Office: 110 W. Marine Drive, Kalama, WA.

Kalama Public Library: 312 North 1st, Kalama, WA.

Cowlitz County Department of Building & Planning: 207 Fourth Ave N., Suite 119, Kelso, WA.

Longview Public Library: 1600 Louisiana Street, Longview, WA.

Kelso Public Library: 351 Three Rivers Drive, Kelso, WA

Copies of the Draft Supplemental EIS on disk may be requested by contacting the responsible official below. The Port reserves the option of charging for the costs of this reproduction.

Public Hearing: A public hearing will be held on December 13, 2018 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Cowlitz County Event Center located at 1900 7th Avenue, Longview, WA 98632. The public hearing venue is ADA accessible.

Public Comment Period: Agencies, affected tribes, and members of the public are invited to comment on the Draft Supplemental EIS during the expanded comment period, which begins on November 13, 2018 and ends at 5:00 p.m. on December 28, 2018. Written comments will be accepted in the following manner:

Mail:    KMMEF EIS, C/o SEPA Responsible Official, Port of Kalama, 110 West Marine Drive, Kalama, WA 98625

Email:  seis@kalamamfgfacilitysepa.com

Website:  https://kalamamfgfacilitysepa.com

SEPA Responsible Officials:

Ann Farr, Port of Kalama

Elaine Placido, Cowlitz County Director of Building and Planning

 

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Port, County Release Draft Supplemental EIS for Proposed Kalama Methanol Plant

Public hearing set for December 13, 2018

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NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY OF DRAFT SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT AND NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

Purpose of this Notice:  The purpose of this notice is to inform the public that the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Draft Supplemental EIS) for the Kalama Manufacturing and Marine Export Facility (the proposed project) is being released for public review and comment. A public hearing will be conducted where the public may comment on the Draft Supplemental EIS. An expanded comment period will begin on November 13, 2018 and end on December 28, 2018. All comments received during the comment period will be reviewed and considered in the preparation of the Final Supplemental EIS.

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Moving forward! With exhaustive environmental impact study completed, Port and County finish up with additional greenhouse gas analysis of methanol plant

At the core of the Port of Kalama’s mission is a promise to carefully evaluate community investments to create jobs and enhance public recreational opportunities all while protecting and enhancing the environment and natural resources. That careful balance is in the DNA of every single project the Port of Kalama embarks upon. It is the Port’s job to ensure that environment, economy and community assets are thoughtfully planned to work in harmony with one another.

A recent ruling by Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge James Warning reinstated the Shorelines Permits for the methanol production plant and offered a ruling that provided clarity to what must be studied in a supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS). The last remaining element of the environmental review process is a further review of the impact of greenhouse gases (GHG) from the project, including a broader evaluation of upstream and downstream emissions.  Once completed, this will wrap a several-year-long comprehensive environmental evaluation.

The Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) is currently underway to review:

  • GHG emissions attributable to project construction;
  • On-site direct GHG emissions from operation of the project;
  • GHG emissions from purchased power;
  • GHG emissions potentially attributed to the project from natural gas production, collection, processing and transmission;
  • GHG emissions from the shipping of methanol product to Asia;
  • GHG emissions associated with changes in the methanol industry and related markets that may be induced by the project’s production.

 

Similar to the original Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the project, the Port and the County will first present a draft SEIS for public review and comment.  The Port and County will then prepare the final SEIS to respond to comments received.  Publication of the draft SEIS is expected to be later this year.

“We’re very pleased that the Shorelines Permits are reinstated—that’s a very important decision that appropriately narrows and focuses the Shoreline Board’s remand order, consistent with what the law requires,” said Mark Wilson, executive director, Port of Kalama. “We appreciate the clarity the judge has provided because it provides the guidance that is needed to get the job done right.  The SEIS is already underway, and we look forward to having a thorough study completed in an expeditious manner.”

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Superior Court Judge Reinstates Shoreline/Conditional Use Permits for Methanol Plant at Port of Kalama

Port of Kalama now has the clear direction it was seeking on scope of Supplemental Review

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