Cowlitz County commissioners on Tuesday amended an agreement with the third-party Seattle consultant who is assessing the environmental impacts of the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals coal export facility west of Longview.
The amendment amends the contract with consultant ICF Jones & Stokes Inc., which expires May 1, 2018, changing the scope of work and adding another $549,460 to the cost estimate for Millennium, a total of $14.9 million. The State Environmental Policy Act's final environmental impact statement is still scheduled to be completed April 29, and the National Environmental Policy Act will be filed into the Federal Register by June 2.
After that, the contractor may provide additional services. Cowlitz County Building and Planning Director Elaine Placido said the scope of work for ICF Jones & Stokes past the final EIS hasn’t been determined yet.
The draft EIS received about 35,000 public comments, according to the county, including 1,500 technical comments that require responses within the final EIS.
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It’s the eighth change to the contract since the county entered the agreement with ICF Jones & Stokes in May 2013.
Millennium wants to build a 44 million metric ton coal export dock at the former site of the Reynolds Metals Co. aluminum plant. Within the next decade, the $680 million project would create 135 direct jobs and another 165 indirect or induced jobs, according to the draft environmental statement. Many of the permanent jobs would be longshore jobs, the draft EIS says.
The project has been undergoing the environmental review process for five years now, leading to complaints that the permitting process is taking too long and chasing away other developers. The coal terminal has been among the most environmentally controversial projects ever proposed in the area.
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the contract with the consultant was extended to May 1, 2018.
The Daily News, Longview, Wash.