EPA calls federal study of coal-export project ‘flawed’

The EPA says the corps' draft environmental review is "flawed" because it fails to take a hard look at potential environmental impacts

File - In this April 4, 2013, file photo, a mining dumper truck hauls coal at Cloud Peak Energy's Spring Creek strip mine near Decker, Mont. U.S. officials have approved a 117 million-ton expansion of a Montana coal mine after concluding that burning the fuel would have a minor impact on the nation’s overall greenhouse gas emissions.
Federal mining officials said in documents made public Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016, that burning coal from the Spring Creek Mine would generate roughly 160 million tons of carbon dioxide over the next five years. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)
File - In this April 4, 2013, file photo, a mining dumper truck hauls coal at Cloud Peak Energy's Spring Creek strip mine near Decker, Mont. U.S. officials have approved a 117 million-ton expansion of a Montana coal mine after concluding that burning the fuel would have a minor impact on the nation’s overall greenhouse gas emissions. Federal mining officials said in documents made public Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016, that burning coal from the Spring Creek Mine would generate roughly 160 million tons of carbon dioxide over the next five years. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) – The Environmental Protection Agency has criticized as “inadequate” a draft study the Army Corps of Engineers did on a proposed coal-export project in Washington state.

The EPA says the corps’ draft environmental review is “flawed” because it fails to take a hard look at potential environmental impacts, such as air quality, rail traffic and climate change.

Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview is proposing a dock to handle up to 44 million metric tons of coal a year. Coal would arrive by train from Montana, Wyoming and other states to be loaded on to ships bound for Asia. The project requires permits from the corps, among others.

The EPA told the corps in a letter Tuesday that it adopted an inappropriately narrow scope for its review. The Daily News reports (https://goo.gl/HtOBDc) the EPA recommended the corps’ study be revised and resubmitted for public comment.

Millennium officials downplayed EPA’s comments as just another step in the process.