Consultant selected for Longview coal terminal

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Cowlitz County commissioners approved a contract Tuesday with a consultant to conduct the environmental review for a proposed coal export terminal on the Columbia River at Longview.

ICF International will help the county and state Ecology Department and the Corps of Engineers evaluate the Millennium Bulk Terminals plan to build a terminal at the site of the former Reynolds Aluminum smelter. The process will involve public meetings and comment periods.

Millennium is one of three terminals proposed in the Northwest to take coal by rail from Wyoming and Montana and ship it to Asia. The others are near Bellingham and at Boardman, Ore. Three other coal terminal proposals have dropped out.

Opponents of coal trains are concerned about dust, congestion and climate change from burning coal.