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Regulators have received 163,000 comments on the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals coal dock west of Longview — likely the biggest public response to a project in state history.

The latest Friday count surpasses the 124,000 comments received by the state Department of Ecology early this year for a proposed coal dock in Whatcom County.

Ecology, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Cowlitz County officials are determining the scope of environmental study for the $643 million Millennium project. The deadline to submit comments is today (Monday).

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Regulators don’t normally track scoping comments, but they conducted an unprecedented campaign to elicit public comment on coal terminals. Five hearings were held statewide for both the Longview and Bellingham terminals.

Millennium officials hope to export 44 million tons of coal annually from the proposed dock at the former Reynolds Metals Co. site. Regulators say they plan to announce the scope of review next year, which they will then use as a guideline to write an environmental impact statement.

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Erik Olson covers business and the economy for The Daily News. Reach him at 360-577-2510 or eolson@tdn.com.

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