A proposed West Coast coal terminal that has faced a seriesof legal and regulatory challenges will now face further scrutiny after ahosting county announced a study to examine potential health risks associatedwith the project.
The MillenniumBulk Terminals-Longview project will now be subject to a reviewconducted by the Washington Department of Health, which will be guided by acommittee made up of local residents of Cowlitz County.
According to project backers, the study will cost MillenniumBulk Terminals an estimated $200,000.
Millennium President and CEO Bill Chapman praised thedecision to conduct the survey, saying in a statement to S&P Global MarketIntelligence that funding had been approved last year.
"We authorized funding for this work in 2015 whenEcology and the County wanted to pursue this additional avenue for publicresponse," Chapman said. "Our performance record at Millennium onhealth, safety, and environment is a strong one. Any additional insightprovided by the Health Impact Assessment will offer another valuableperspective into our job-creating project, constructing a world class terminal."
The Millennium project is one of a handful of proposed coalexport terminals along the West Coast that has faced resistance from local andadvocacy groups, including now-stalled efforts in northwest and , Calif.
In June, the Millennium project reportedly about 270,000 publiccomments in response to a draft environmental impact study that did not revealany significant risks associated with the effort. Despite the vocal opposition,project backers remain confident that they will be able to move forward towardscompletion.
According to local media reports, the health survey will becompleted by the fall of 2017, while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers isexpected to release its programmatic environmental impact statement on Sept.30, according to project backers.