AP NEWS

Millennium loses appeal over coal dock shorelines permit

March 18, 2020 GMT

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — Millennium Bulk Terminal’s long-running proposal to build a $680 million coal export dock in Longview was dealt another legal blow Tuesday when the Washington State Court of Appeals upheld the denial of a key shorelines permit.

Writing for the three-judge panel, Judge Rich Melnick said the court disagreed with several of Millennium’s disputes about legal procedural errors in the original denial. It therefore upheld the State Shorelines Hearing Board’s denial of the shorelines permit, The Daily News reported.

Millennium and its parent company, Lighthouse Resources Inc., want to build the largest coal export dock in the U.S. West Coast to ship coal to Asia. Millennium estimates that the terminal would support 1,300 construction jobs and 130 permanent jobs, as well as generate millions annually in taxes.

The companies first pitched the project in 2012. It has been wrapped up in the permitting process and litigation ever since, and the company has been mostly on the losing side.

The state has denied two shorelines permits and one water quality permit for the project. Without those permits, Millennium cannot build its coal terminal.

The company filed several lawsuits appealing the denials, but every legal body that has made a final decision on permit denials in these cases has upheld the denials, according to the state Department of Ecology.

Nonetheless, Millennium continues to fight for its project in the courts, including in a federal lawsuit that alleges that the state violated the foreign and interstate commerce law by denying the permits.