USA: Agencies Conduct Environmental Reviews for Longview Project
The three agencies conducting environmental reviews for a proposed coal shipping terminal near Longview, Wash., have updated their 2012 working agreement.
The revised agreement, called a Memorandum of Understanding, now says Cowlitz County, the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will use a synchronized process to create two environmental impact statements (EISs) instead of one joint document.
Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview LLC proposes to build and operate a terminal to export coal from the site of the former Reynolds Aluminum smelter in Cowlitz County.
Cowlitz County and Ecology must follow the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), and the Corps must follow the federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Both NEPA and SEPA require the disclosure and evaluation of environmental effects of a proposed action on the existing natural and built environment. An EIS is prepared when a proposed action is likely to have significant adverse environmental impacts.
Scoping is the first step in the EIS process. Through scoping, the agencies decide what areas will be evaluated in the EISs.
The updated agreement does not alter the current scoping process, which began Aug. 16 and closes Nov. 18.
Press Release, October 2, 2013