Four years into the permitting process, building trades leaders says it’s time to call the question
SEATAC — Lee Newgent, executive secretary of the Washington State Building & Construction Trades Council, told members attending the group’s annual convention Tuesday that it is time for government officials to act on the permit for Millennium Bulk Terminals in Longview.
“After four years of study, public input, more study and meetings, the people of Longview are still hoping for a chance at new family-wage jobs,” said Newgent. “This community needs good-paying jobs, this project provides good-paying jobs. They want to provide for their families, have good schools, police and fire. We owe them a timely decision – just as we owe the people at Millennium, who have invested heavily in doing this project right.”
Added Newgent, “Our brothers and sisters fully support all efforts to protect Washington’s environment. We have some of the most stringent environmental policies in the world. But our never-ending and arbitrary regulatory processes are limiting manufacturing opportunities in our state – and the good-paying jobs that go with them.”
Labor, business and agricultural representatives from Keep Washington Competitive (KWC) have united in their support for the Millennium Bulk Terminals Project, which would create hundreds of family wage jobs, generate millions of dollars in new revenue for the county economy and build essential infrastructure for expanding the state’s trade and export products.
In late May and June, hundreds of supporters attended public hearings in Longview, Spokane and Pasco to speak in favor of the project and the economic benefits it would bring to Longview and the regional and state economies. The hearings, hosted by Cowlitz County and the Department of Ecology, served to gather comments on the draft environmental impact statement for Millennium.
Newgent, along with hundreds of labor representatives from a cross-section of labor and trade groups, were among the vocal supporters at the Millennium hearings.
“Today, I urge you to join me in supporting this project and calling to regulators to make a decision that helps put people to work and our economy outside of King County back on track,” said Newgent. “It’s time to move forward.”