Labor, Business, Ag Leaders Voice Support for Millennium Bulk Terminals

Draft environmental impact statement released for review in advance of public hearings

OLYMPIA — Labor, business and agricultural representatives from Keep Washington Competitive (KWC) are expressing their support of the Millennium Bulk Terminals Project and the release of the Cowlitz County draft environmental impact statement (DEIS). The document, released Friday, represents a significant step forward in the regulatory process for the project.

“Working families in Washington state have been waiting for more than four years already,” said Lee Newgent, executive secretary of the Washington Building & Construction Trades Council. “The Millennium project will bring much-needed, family-wage jobs to the people of Southwest Washington. This community needs the skilled labor and apprenticeship opportunities Millennium will provide for workers who want to live and raise their families in the Longview area.”

Newgent is one of several leaders working in support of the Millennium Bulk Terminals project through KWC, which represents an array of labor, business and agricultural interests focused on broad efforts across the state to grow trade and create jobs.

“We need companies to continue to invest in manufacturing, construction, and infrastructure to support trade,” said Kris Johnson, president of the Association of Washington Business. “Washington’s regulatory process has become longer and more uncertain, which sends the wrong message to employers. We are glad to see today’s release of the draft EIS for Millennium, but remain concerned other companies will not be willing to tolerate the delays of Washington’s permitting system and will not bring the needed investment to our state.”

“While we understand the need to be thorough, permitting delays that are this long will kill jobs” said Larry Brown, legislative and political director for the IAM & AW District Lodge 751. “It shouldn’t have taken four years to do an environmental review on a site that’s been used for industry since the 1940’s. That’s a long time for families to wait for work. We need jobs now.”

Public hearings on the draft EIS will be held later next month starting May 24 in Longview (Cowlitz County Regional Event Center), May 26 in Spokane (Spokane Convention Center), and June 2 in Pasco (TRAC Center).