Description: Challenge to permits for methanol manufacturing and shipping facility.
Columbia Riverkeeper v. Cowlitz County
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 09/18/2017 Order Download Permits reversed based on invalidity of environmental impact statement. Review of Methanol Manufacturing Facility’s Greenhouse Gas Impacts Found Inadequate. The Washington Shorelines Hearings Board ruled that Cowlitz County’s environmental review for a proposed methanol manufacturing and shipping facility was adequate. The project would emit more than one million tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, not including off-site emissions, increasing Washington’s total emissions by more than one percent. The Board found that the final environmental impact statement (EIS) failed to adequately assess the project’s greenhouse gas impacts. The Board said the EIS’s conclusion that the project would not result in unavoidable significant adverse greenhouse gas emissions-related impacts was based “almost entirely” on Washington State Department of Ecology guidance that Ecology had acknowledged was of “limited value” and that Ecology had withdrawn four months before the final EIS was issued. The Board said a condition subsequently imposed by Ecology requiring the facility to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions did not fix the inadequate EIS review because there was insufficient analysis of impacts to determine whether the condition was adequate and there had been no public review.