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Natural Resources & Energy

Washington Coal Port Faces Delays

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The largest proposed coal export terminal on the West Coast is facing additional delays.

The Gateway Pacific terminal in Washington State would ship up to 54 million tons of coal a year, mostly from the Powder River Basin. It's currently under environmental review. A draft of that review was expected to be published this year, but changes to the project have pushed that back until at least 2016.

Project consultant Craig Cole says among other things, SSA Marine, the company behind the project, decided to reconfigure the layout of the terminal to reduce the impact on wetlands.

“That was an important change of suggested design and was worth the time because it really reduces some of the environmental impacts,” he said.

Cole says the delays won’t affect the viability of the project. There are two other coal export projects under consideration in the Pacific Northwest.

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