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Bob Larson Millennium Permit Denied Pt 3
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: October 05, 2017

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I’m Bob Larson. A big set-back for the Millennium Bulk Terminal’s plans to become the nation’s largest coal export terminal on the Columbia River in Longview. Many argue the Department of Ecology denial of Millennium’s request for a water quality permit is based on issues unrelated to water.

Washington Farm Bureau CEO, John Stuhlmiller says a port that size just allows more shipping in our state …

JOHN STUHLMILLER … “So, take pressure away. So, if you start moving this particular commodity through Longview on a new facility, well that’s taking choke-points away from Tacoma, Seattle, Portland and so that’s good for shippers. For farmers who want to get their product to market, the more ways and reduced friction at the port, you remember the port slow-down we just recently went through, devastating to agriculture? Well, partly that was you just couldn’t get it off the docks. And so here you got another dock, guess what? You can move more product.”

Stuhlmiller says the region desperately needs an economic nudge …

JOHN STUHLMILLER … “The Kelso, Longview area is struggling with unemployment and King County in particular is really booming and they’ve got really low unemployment and lots of economic activity, lots of industrial facilities, lots of stuff. And, you move away, you move 10-12 miles away and all of the sudden you start to see this. Especially on the West side, you see this dramatic drop-off between the boom-town, or boom-county if you will, of King and go away from that and it’s rough.”

Stuhlmiller says Millennium intends to appeal the decision, but that it could add more delays to what’s already been a five-year process.

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