Permits for Trade Infrastructure Projects Bring Washington Closer to Growth

Washington’s approval process for industrial projects often creates steep barriers to growth, but recently there’s been progress in the right direction. Last month, Northwest Innovation Works (NIW) received several necessary permits for their methanol plant in Kalama, which would create 200 full-time jobs. That development has been under review for three years, but other projects have been waiting even longer. After five years of extensive environmental analysis, Millennium Bulk Terminals recently received the first permit for its Longview coal terminal.

Issuance of the permit is an important milestone for the project after years of delay. Throughout an arduous review process, Millennium has gone above and beyond to demonstrate how it will exceed the state’s stringent environmental standards. It’s encouraging to see the state recognize Millennium’s dedication to creating a safe, sustainable jobs for the working families of Longview.

Despite all obstacles, Millennium remains determined to create a state-of-the-art facility. “Today this project took another significant step forward. We are absolutely delighted to see the agencies begin permit issuance based on their extensive Environmental Impact Statement,” Millennium CEO and President Bill Chapman said.

Millennium’s project is a great fit for our state. Building the Longview coal terminal will employ 2,650 people, ultimately creating 300 permanent jobs. That means Millennium will pour $65 million in wages into our state annually. The terminal will also generate over $37 million in tax revenue every year, empowering leaders to improve their communities.

However, none of this can happen unless the state acts in the best interest of its citizens.

According to The Daily News in Longview, the DOE “continues to make up new standards along the way,” enforcing restrictions on energy projects that other developments don’t have to follow. This repeated discrimination against crucial energy infrastructure is setting a precedent against growth in Washington, and diminishing our ability to compete for investment.

The state must do more to advance projects that spur economic growth, and review all proposals with expediency and fair standards. If Washington wants to help communities thrive, the DOE will continue issuing permits for crucial projects that meet our state’s high standards.

Read the full piece from The Daily News here.