Fighting Methanol in Kalama

By Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky, Senior Organizer

methaNOlIt started out ugly, but we pulled through in the end.

Three weeks ago, opposition to the proposed methanol refinery in Kalama was dispersed and disorganized. At the public hearing on March 22, things changed. Community leaders in Kalama, supported by veterans of the famous Pacific Northwest fossil fuel campaigns, came out to stand up for Kalama and the Columbia. The Daily News reported that the crowd was split evenly between opponents and proponents of the massive refinery. In reality, citizens testifying against the refinery outnumbered proponents approximately 57 to 37.Kalama residents, landowners along the proposed pipeline route, faith leaders, doctors, and fishermen spoke out to stop Northwest Innovation Works LLC (NWIW).

The proposed methanol refinery would increase Washington State’s fracked natural gas consumption by one third. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) explains that soil at the refinery site has a “moderate to high liquefaction susceptibility” in the event of an earthquake, which could result in the ground under the refinery subsiding more than two feet. The draft EIS ignores upstream fracking risks and emissions, and fails to analyze the blast zone risk for the refinery, suggesting that an explosion would never leave the fence line.

We have until Monday, April 18, 2016, to flood the Port of Kalama and Cowlitz County with comments to fix the flaws in the draft EIS. You can comment daily if you want, there is no limit! Click here to submit your comment today!

NWIW needs nearly two dozen permits before they can build their proposed methanol refinery at the Port of Kalama. They also need the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to approve a 3.1 mile pipeline through private property and the historic Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.

Public Comment: Methanol Refinery in Kalama

For more information on Northwest Innovation Works’ plans, please check out these excellent resources:


6 Comments

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6 Responses to “Fighting Methanol in Kalama”

  1. Annie McCuen says:

    Pleas do not allow any polluting enterprises along the Columbia or anywhere else for that matter.

  2. Julie Anderson says:

    NWIW is a new start up! They’ve never built nor run a methanol refinery!

    In sight of efforts to provide well being in the area the safety considerations way outweigh the benefit (profits) in allowing fracking. To further reduce our carbon footprint, we are increasing potential for further, long term, unresolvable outcomes in potential accidents or earthquakes.

    “The proposed technology has never been used to make methanol commercially.
    The project ignores the pipeline. NWIW wants to build a new 3.1 mile”

    This project is ludicrious to even consider!

  3. ABSOLUTELY NOT. NO, NO, A THOUSAND TIMES NO. How can it be anything but immoral to ask citizens to take these horrible risks for a few “princes” to make fabulous profits?

  4. Mike Thomas says:

    It seems simple to me that this process will require new electric generation that is not properly accounted in the EIS. Without equal or even greater investment in power generation by mitigation with clean generation, this will necessitate power from coal plants drawn from out of state. So, in effect – moving coal generating power from China to the US. Plus the carbon generation of ships moving the methanol across the ocean, then trucking it to plastic plants in China.

    I would like to understand the pricing the PUD will impose on the new plant. Will it be sufficient to not be a burden on current ratepayers? Will it be sufficient so that they will pay proportionately for new generation that will be required to meet State and Federal requirements of clean non-power? How will the PUD comply with the reduction requirements when the amount of coal generation will expectedly be increased to meet the demands of the new plant.

  5. Kim Lowry says:

    I moved to Kalama for it’s ‘RURAL’ environment….. if I wanted to live in a big city with lots of industry and cars and pollution I would. I’m pretty sure most residents who live here like the country feel. Evidently our Port feels they need to make a name for themselves by promoting ‘JOBS’ at the expense of….. EVERYTHING. Are we really THAT desperate???? Plus – I don’t like living in the ‘blast zone’….. not one bit. Leave me the country feel, the deer in the roads, the eagles in the sky and the Steelhead in the river.

  6. Meryle A. Korn says:

    NO to a Methanol plant at Kalama! NO to a methanol plan in Tacoma! NO TO ANY NEW METHANOL PLANTS ANYWHERE IN THE UNITED STATES, NOR IN ANY OTHER “CORNER” OF THE GLOBE. (I’ve yet to find any corners on any globe, but the saying has been around for a very long time.) Basically, NO NEW INFRASTRUCTURE ANYWHERE FOR ANY POLLUTING FOSSIL FUEL OR FOSSIL FUEL DERIVED ENTERPRISE! If we’re going to slow and hopefully stop global warming, WE MUST STOP BUILDING ANY NEW INFRASTRUCTURE FOR ANY PROJECT THAT ADDS TO GLOBAL WARMING! STOP KILLING OUR ONLY PLANET TODAY!