Submission Number: MBTL-SEPA-DEIS-0002730 

Received: 6/13/2016 1:50:46 PM
Commenter: Leah Brothers
Organization: 
State: Washington

Agency: Cowlitz County and the Washington Department of Ecology
Initiative: Millennium Bulk-Terminals Longview SEPA DEIS
Attachments: No Attachments
Submission Text
Dear Cowlitz County and Washington Department of Ecology, I am writing to voice my support for the proposed Millennium Bulk export facility in Longview that is currently undergoing environmental review. First of all, I want to commend the state and county for conducting such a thoughtful and in-depth environmental review. Shepherding this review through such a process is an essential tool and I am satisfied that at this point the project has been appropriately reviewed. The thorough review also helps me feel confident that the project will meet Washington’s already high environmental standards. However, while the importance of protecting the environment cannot be overlooked, we also must keep in mind another tremendous factor in this decision, our economy and the livelihoods of our citizens. As you know, nearly forty percent of all Washington jobs are tied to trade related activity. And with our state’s economy tied so closely to trade it is worth noting that nearly 90% of Washington’s exports come from small to medium size business with less than 500 employees. With growing demand for U.S. domestic goods in the global market, the Millennium Bulk Terminal project represents an infrastructure opportunity in which Washington businesses and workers across the state will significantly benefit. In fact, the Millennium terminal will positively impact Washington for years to come. Almost immediately the project will create as many as 2,650 direct and indirect jobs during construction, with a total of 300 full time direct and indirect jobs generated once complete. Additionally, the tax revenues from the project both during construction and then ongoing during its operations will support projects and services for the state’s citizens. But with trade growth expected to grow across the state and certainly along the Columbia River, securing new privately funded investments today will ensure long-term improvements to our trade related infrastructure, which is essential to the well-being of jobs in Washington and throughout the Pacific Northwest. Furthermore, with neighboring domestic and international ports continuing to expand, export and trade has reached new levels of competition. Maintaining our position as a leader in the global market is no longer just a concern for Washington’s economy and job growth, but an interest for all of the U.S. The competitive threat from our neighbors in Canada and even those down in California should not be ignored. In conclusion, the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminal project offers an opportunity to expand our ports, ensure that jobs are created and preserved, stimulate growth in the local and regional economy, and provide our state with a world class project that will ensure environmental standards are maintained. Higher standard of living and long-term security for the families of Washington are sure to accompany this project. I applaud the Department of Ecology and Cowlitz County for the thoughtful and procedurally important review of the project and I urge the both agencies to continue on to advance this tremendous trade investment in a fair and timely manner. Thank you for your consideration and the opportunity to comment on this important matter.