By Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky, Senior Organizer
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.
For more information on Northwest Innovation Works’ plans, please check out these excellent resources:
- Download Columbia Riverkeeper’s Latest Factsheet
- Why China Wants Methanol From the Northwest, Sightline Institute
- What Methanol Means for the Northwest, Sightline Institute
- Proposed Methanol Plants in Region Face Fierce Opposition, Seattle Times
- Northwest Innovation Works’ environmental review website
- Read Columbia Riverkeeper and NEDC’s Scoping comments on the Kalama methanol proposal