Submission Number: MBTL-SEPA-DEIS-0002896
Received: 6/13/2016 3:03:07 PM
Commenter: Amy Braun
Agency: Cowlitz County and the Washington Department of Ecology
Initiative: Millennium Bulk-Terminals Longview SEPA DEIS
Attachments: No Attachments
Dear Cowlitz County and Washington Department of Ecology,
Thank you for taking the time to review my comments about the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminal project in Longview. At a time when Washington needs jobs, we cannot turn away the kind of opportunity that the proposed project would provide. This is important for the sake of all of Washington’s work force.
Now that the project has been adequately reviewed and a thorough draft EIS for Millennium has been released by your agencies, it now time to move this process forward to support the creation of thousands of family wage jobs in Southwest Washington.
Washington has been historically known for its steadfast commitment to the environment as well our booming trade based economy. We are appreciative of the state and county’s careful and thoughtful review of the project and believe the health of our community is safe under the guidelines of the proposed project.
As you may well know, Cowlitz County posted 7.3 percent unemployment in 2015, far higher than both the overall state and the nation. And with many of today’s unemployed being blue-collar workers trained in the trades, the construction of this project, it’s ongoing maritime operations, the ensuing feeder rail lines and other services will provide just the economic stimulus we need in this part of the state. It is crucial that we encourage investments that will produce opportunities for Washington’s citizens to work.
At its outset, Millennium Bulk’s site modernization would produce as many as 2,650 direct and indirect new jobs during the construction phase and at least 300 full time jobs remaining afterwards. The terminal would also generate $70 million in wages during construction, the reinvestment of which would indirectly create even more jobs. The local and state economies are need of a boost, and Millennium Bulk’s new terminal would more than deliver the answer labor needs.
Furthermore, if Washington does not seize this opportunity, others in Canada and California will. It is hardly a question of the terminal’s suitability, but rather an opportunity to create new jobs. Washingtonians are ready to work, and Millennium’s terminal at Longview would give thousands of them that chance.
The environment is important, and it is critical that the terminal gets a thorough, and timely, evaluation. Yet now, after an extensive and exhaustive four-year review, it’s time for the co-lead agencies to approve this project. Hardworking Cowlitz County citizens, and others throughout the region, are counting on the opportunity to demonstrate their resolve.
Thank you for your time.