Leaders of Keep Washington Competitive recently voiced renewed concerns about the State Department of Ecology’s plan to again drastically expand the scope of the environmental review process for a bulk-commodity terminal proposed for Southwest Washington. The agency made the same decision last year for a terminal in Whatcom County.
“Altering Washington’s long-standing and effective process for trade-related projects increases uncertainty for businesses and communities, and will complicate major trade investments at a critical time for our region,” said Kris Johnson, president of the Association of Washington Business. “Businesses want certainty. They want clear guidelines so they can make the appropriate investments of time and resources. Unfortunately, this decision leaves much in doubt. Which elements of a project will be judged?” he asked. “Washington state is the most trade dependent state in the nation. Having a reliable, predictable system is critical to our state’s ability to be competitive.”
Ecology’s latest decision creates more questions than it answers. Keep Washington Competitive members want to know:
- · What is the timeline to complete reviews and studies for these and other projects? Is there one, or are projects captive to the whim of state preferences?
- · What are the substantive differences between this and other major projects? Why 45 days to permit Boeing, but two years already for this process, with no end in sight?
“Washington workers stand to lose thousands of good, family-wage jobs if the state cannot provide established guidelines in a timely manner to those who want to invest hundreds of millions of dollars here,” said Mike Elliott, Washington State Legislative Spokesman for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen. “If investors determine the state is going to pick and choose which projects will receive these expanded reviews, they will turn to other states and countries that already are streamlining their processes to foster a friendly investment environment,” he said.
“This decision will harm our workers, our economy and our reputation as a world trade leader.”
About Keep Washington Competitive
Keep Washington Competitive includes a diverse group of community leaders from business, labor, agriculture and other trade-related entities to combat unprecedented new regulations that will devastate Washington state’s trade industry. The coalition works to raise awareness of the broad regulatory changes of the expanded State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) – an overreach that threatens the future of Washington’s workers, undermines the health of the state’s economy and diminishes Washington’s reputation as a trade leader.
Keep Washington Competitive
Association of Washington Business
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen
Certified Electrical Workers of Washington
ILWU, Puget Sound Council
International Union of Operating Engineers Local 302
International Union of Operating Engineers Local 612
International Union of Operating Engineers Local 701
Jerry Oliver, Port of Vancouver Commissioner
Machinists & Aerospace Workers Local 751
National Federation of Independent Business
NW National Construction Alliance
Pacific Northwest International Trade Association
Pacific NW Regional Council of Carpenters
Portland Business Alliance
Sailors’ Union of the Pacific
Seattle Building and Construction Trades
Southwest Washington Central Labor Council
The Washington State Building Trades
Eric Schinfeld, Washington Council on International Trade
Washington Farm Bureau