November 3, 2017
Millennium Supporters Turnout for Day Two of Shoreline Hearing, Provide Compelling Testimony
Hearing ended at 2:30 p.m. Friday after final person testified. Only written testimony to be accepted Monday
LONGVIEW, WA – Day two of the hearing for Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview’s (MBT) Shoreline Substantial Development and Conditional Use Permits was dedicated to public testimony. Proponents and opponents spent the day stepping one-by-one to the podium to offer comments about the project to hearing examiner Mark Scheibmeir.
Proponents of the Millennium project included labor and civic leaders, employees, and elected officials. Each person provided a unique perspective for supporting the construction of Millennium’s $680-million investment in Cowlitz County. Below is a sampling of proponent testimonies:
“Right now, we have a chance to help boost our local economy with good family wage jobs and reinvigorate our region in a way that is consistent with our history, tradition, and workforce,” DeAnn Fields, Market Representative for Laborers International Union of North America testified. “Cowlitz County has an approximately 5.9 percent unemployment rate, compared to 3.1 for King’s County. This community needs this project and cannot afford any further delay.”
“As North America’s oldest rail labor union, we are invested in making sure good, viable projects like the Millennium Bulk Terminals proposed export facility, receives a fair and timely permitting review, so that we can partner together to maintain and grow the skilled labor workforce here in Washington,” said Shahraim Charles Allen, Washington State Legislative Board Chairman for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen. “The commitment to this project taken on by Millennium, demonstrates they will be a responsible and environmentally aware business partner, here in Longview…I believe Millennium is committed to building and operating a safe and environmentally responsible port terminal.”
Mark Martinez, President of the Washington State Building & Construction Trades Council testified: “Nothing is more important for the success of middle class families than job opportunity and economic growth. And that is exactly what’s being considered today. A chance to create jobs for skilled trades and boost local economies while improving lives. There is nothing more disappointing than seeing empty union halls. We’re firing on all cylinders when everyone is hard at work, and projects like this one will help us meet that goal. Through construction alone the project will create jobs for two thousand six hundred and fifty people. That’s two thousand six hundred and fifty paychecks, two thousand six hundred and fifty people who don’t have to worry about putting food on their table each night.”
The shoreline hearing will continue Monday, November 6 at 9 a.m. at the Cowlitz County Expo Center at 1900 7th Avenue in Longview. If necessary, the final day of hearing will be Tuesday, November 7.
Why Millennium Needs Shoreline Permits
The Shoreline Permits for the first stage of the project will be for construction activities to revitalize the old Reynolds aluminum smelter for export capacity of 25 million tonnes of coal annually. Stage one of Millennium’s investment includes:
- Infrastructure to transload coal from trains to storage to ships,
- A rail yard for management of unit trains,
- One dock with a ship loader, and
- One additional dock for holding vessels when they are not being loaded.
Recent Millennium Wins
Millennium has received its critical areas permit. A Cowlitz County Superior Court has overturned the decision made last January to deny Millennium a sublease to operate docks at the former Reynolds Aluminum facility in Longview. The judge ruled that the Department of Natural Resources acted without regard to the facts and asked the parties to reach agreement on a sublease and present it to the court for approval.
Millennium has received its critical areas permit. Millennium has filed a lawsuit in Cowlitz County Superior Court against the Department of Ecology and its Director Maia Bellon. The company also appealed the denial of its water quality certification to Washington’s Pollution Control Hearings Board. Visit www.MillenniumBulk.com/appeal for more information.
About Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview
Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview is an operating bulk materials port on the Columbia River which was initially home to an aluminum smelter. Millennium is committed to the environmental cleanup and redevelopment of this 1940’s era industrial site into a vibrant, world-class port facility that will create family-wage jobs and help keep Longview and Cowlitz County working. In addition to the coal export facility, Millennium is actively seeking development of the site for other bulk commodity import and export opportunities.
Facts and Figures
- 2,650 direct and indirect jobs
- $680 million in private investment in Cowlitz County
- $43.1 million in state and local revenue during construction
- $5.4 million in state and local revenue each year when fully operational
- Supported by 15 labor unions and endorsed by Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce