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.”