The Scoping Process.

The scoping process is when the public, agencies, tribes, and organizations are asked to submit comments to help identify what the draft EIS documents should analyze.

Public scoping was held in the Fall 2013 and resulted in over 215,000 comments.

When will the EISs be released?

The comment period on the SEPA Draft EIS is now closed. The anticipated release date for the SEPA Final EIS is mid-2017.

The comment period on the NEPA Draft EIS is now closed. The NEPA Final EIS is anticipated to be released in 2017.

 

Process Overview:

Preparing an EIS involves defining the scope, preparing the Draft, receiving public input, and preparing the Final EIS.

  • Process Overview

    Purpose of an EIS

    Each EIS provides information on the potential environmental impacts of the project, considers alternatives, and develops mitigation measures that would avoid or minimize adverse environmental impacts. An EIS does not result in a decision on a proposal. An EIS document is an impartial, comprehensive document that is used by agency decision-makers responsible for issuing permits.

    Co-Lead Approach

    Cowlitz County, Ecology, and the Corps have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to conduct a synchronized environmental review process as Co-Lead Agencies under their respective regulatory authorities. Cowlitz County and Ecology are jointly overseeing preparation of the SEPA EIS and the Corps is overseeing the preparation of the NEPA EIS. The Co-Lead Agencies released the SEPA Draft EIS and the NEPA Draft EIS separately.

    It is the goal of the Lead Agencies to develop thorough, impartial, and factual documents to provide information that will be used to guide permit decision-making.

    Process Overview

    Preparing an EIS involves four stages: defining the scope of the EIS, preparing the Draft EIS, receiving public input on the Draft EIS, and preparing the Final EIS.

    Scoping Process

    An EIS involves opportunities for public input starting with the scoping process where the public, agencies, tribes, and organizations are asked to help identify what the Draft EIS documents should analyze. Comments were requested on:

    • Reasonable range of alternatives such as identification of an alternative site for a terminal or identification of an alternative approach to bulk material handling that achieves the proposal’s objective

    • Potentially affected resources and extent of analyses such as identification of natural, cultural, or community resources that will be potentially affected and what extent of study and analysis is needed to understand the potential impacts

    • Significant, unavoidable, adverse impacts on the environment

    • Measures to avoid, minimize, and/or mitigate (offset) the effects of the proposal

    Scoping is an effective way to record the concerns of the public, affected agencies, tribes, and other interested parties. Significant issues may be identified through public and agency comments. Scoping helps prepare a comprehensive and focused EIS that will help inform the decision-making and permitting process.

    The Co-Lead Agencies offered multiple ways to provide comments during the scoping period, including: online, by email, by U.S. postal mail, and at the scoping meetings. Public comments received during the scoping period were posted online regularly during the scoping process. All comments are valued equally, regardless of how they were submitted.

    Draft EIS

    The Draft EIS documents :

    • the existing conditions of the site,

    • the laws and regulations that  apply to the proposal,

    • significant adverse environmental impacts,

    • alternatives, and

    • mitigation measures that will reduce or eliminate the environmental impacts.

    The Draft EIS documents will be subject to public review and the public will have an opportunity to provide written comments on them.

    DEIS Public Comment Period

    The SEPA Draft EIS was released for public review on April 29, 2016 and the comment period closed on June 13, 2016.  Three public hearings were held May 24 in Cowlitz County, May 26 in Spokane, and June 2 in Pasco, with an open house and information available at each event. Oral testimony and written comments were accepted during the public hearings and open houses.

    Click here to view SEPA Draft EIS Comments.

    The NEPA Draft EIS was released for public review on September 30, 2016 and the comment period closed on November 29, 2016. Two public hearings were held October 24 in Cowlitz County and October 25 in Clark County, with an open house and information available at each event. Oral testimony and written comments were accepted during the public hearings and open houses.
    Click here to view NEPA Draft EIS Comments.

    Final EIS

    In the Final EIS documents, the Co-Lead Agencies will respond to the comments submitted by the public, agencies, and tribes during the review of the Draft EIS documents. The Final EIS documents will add to, revise, and edit the Draft EIS documents to reflect the comments received during the review of the draft. The Final EIS documents will be used to inform federal, state, and local permitting agencies on permitting decisions for the proposed project.

     

  • Health Impact Assessment

    What is a Health Impact Assessment (HIA)

    An HIA is defined as a combination of procedures, methods and tools that systematically judges the potential, and sometimes unintended, effects of a proposed program, project, plan, or policy on the health of a population and the distribution of those effects within the population.

    Learn More

  • Proposed Action

    Millennium Bulk Terminals – Longview (MBTL) LLC, based in Longview, Washington proposes to construct and operate a coal export terminal at the site of the former Reynolds Aluminum smelter in Cowlitz County. The MBTL proposal is for a facility that would ultimately have the capacity to handle 44 million metric tons of coal annually.

    Learn More

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