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.
Opportunities for public input started with the scoping process, where the public provided comments to identify what the Draft EIS should analyze.
Public Hearings on the SEPA Draft EIS and NEPA Draft EIS were held in 2016.
The Final EISs will inform agency decision-makers responsible for issuing permits.
The Draft EIS documents identify
the potential environmental impacts
and measures that would reduce or eliminate them.
Preparing an EIS involves defining the scope, preparing the Draft, receiving public input, and preparing the Final EIS.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SEPA Process Diagram
NEPA Process Diagram
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.
NEPA Draft EIS
NEPA Draft Environmental Impact Statement
NEPA stands for National Environmental Policy Act. NEPA requires federal officials to consider environmental values alongside the technical and economic considerations that are inherent factors in federal decision making.
SEPA Draft EIS
SEPA Draft Environmental Impact Statement
SEPA requires agencies to take environmental factors into consideration before taking action on proposed projects. It’s important to emphasize that the environmental review process is not a decision, permit, or a yes or no on the project.
About this Site
This website is authorized and managed jointly by Cowlitz County, the Washington State Department of Ecology, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The purpose of this site is to provide a frequently updated informational hub during the Millennium Bulk Terminals – Longview, LLC NEPA and SEPA environmental review process.
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.
MILLENNIUM Bulk Terminals-Longview | NEPA / SEPA Environmental Impact Statements