(Portland, Ore.) Oregon Judge Alison Greene Webster stated that the Oregon Department of State Lands was right to block the proposal for a coal terminal project that would have shipped an average of 8 million tons of Wyoming coal to Asia each year.
The original decision to stop the Coyote Island Terminal project was in 2014, over concerns that construction would interfere with tribal fisheries. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality ultimately approved the project proposal in 2015 after concluding it would meet state standards for air and water quality.
The state of Montana and the state of Wyoming objected to the permit denials, but their appeal was denied by Judge Webster Friday. She found that Oregon did not violate U.S. Constitution -- as was suggested by Governor Matt Mead -- by prioritizing environmental concerns over commerce. The case will continue in November in a hearing about the impact of the terminal on fishing in the Columbia River.
The Coyote Island Terminal was originally proposed by Australian company Ambre Energy -- now called Lighthouse Resources -- in the hopes they could ship coal from the Powder River Basin through Oregon to Asia. It was expected to create hundreds of jobs in construction and as a permanent addition to the ports.
Photo h/t MorrowPacific / Port of Morrow