The Longview City Council submitted a public comment letter about the Millennium Bulk terminals that suggested ten areas for the Environmental Impact Statement to cover, including transportation, air quality, surface water quality, groundwater, noise and vibration, light pollution, emergency service access, local economy, and nearby neighborhoods.

While I understand the city council members’ desire to protect their community, some of the letter’s requests would be outside the scope of a typical environmental review. Washington and Oregon have both been able to build prosperous trade and export industries by successfully balancing environmental protection with industry development. This proposed export terminal is no different.

Changing the regulatory process would imply that any new terminal expansion, whether it be airplanes or grains, could be susceptible to the same global reviews. This uncertainty will deter future industries from investing in our region, leaving our trade and export industry without the necessary funds to continue growing and developing. For a trade dependent region, nothing could be worse.

Elected officials should understand that any one off changes to a policy matter will create an inconsistent regulatory process and dangerous business climate for the region. Expanding the environmental review is a dangerous precedent for our region that could ultimately undermine the future of our trade and export industry.