Revitalization project has a mixed month

April 30, 2013 by  

The proposed Coos Bay Terminal has taken supporters on a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows. After a report on April 5 of a decision made by a judge for the State Lands Department, the future of the Port of Coos Bay should have been looking up.

The judge’s approval of the project was good news for advocates, but perhaps came a little late. It was reported in the Seattle Times on April 1 that the proposal to ship coal originating in Montana and Wyoming to Asia via the Port of Coos Bay lost its last partner. Of the three original partners, the last to drop out was Metropolitan Stevedore Company of Wilmington, which chose not to renew its negotiating agreement.

The judge gave the thumbs down to an appeal by environmental groups and reaffirmed the required permit for Coos Bay Harbor to be developed to export American fuels.

The arguments presented by environmental groups were that the effect on the bay and the ocean had to be considered before the terminal could be built. The judge, however, said that Oregon law did not require an evaluation. An aquatic review is applicable only when a proposed site sits below the highest high tide level, which was not the case.

Despite the loss of the proposed coal shipments, the development of new shipping facilities will continue, according to Port CEO David Koch. Liquefied natural gas shipments are still a go, so the decision might still pave the way for a future of catalog printing extolling the availability of the Port of Coos Bay.