January 19, 2021 — Kalama, WA – Today the Department of Ecology announced it will not issue Northwest Innovation Works (NWIW) a Shorelines Conditional Use Permit, despite having granted this permit for the same project over three years ago.
“The science Ecology developed shows that this project is the cleanest, most climate- friendly way to make products we use every day,” said Vee Godley, Chief Development Officer for NWIW.
“While we are disappointed by this ruling and evaluating our options for an immediate appeal, we feel confident that science and reason will prevail,” said Kent Caputo, General Counsel for NWIW.
“Given the strong scientific findings and multiple reviews over the last six years, it is difficult to understand why the original vision for both economic and environmental security has been bypassed,” said Vee Godley. “The Kalama project will achieve a substantial overall global emissions reduction and will mitigate any in-state emissions; the plan is that simple, that clear.”
“This project has been the subject of three independent environmental assessments. All scientific reviews report that the project creates a net environmental benefit for our planet,” said Caputo. “The latest report also points to the value of our voluntary mitigation proposal.”
“We volunteered to set mitigation standards that will make Washington State the national leader,” said CEO Simon Zhang. “We want to create a model project for Kalama, the state, and the nation.”
“The Kalama project is designed to accomplish both much needed economic and positive environmental goals. It is a new era and it’s important not to be short-sighted to pit those two objectives against one another when we can use innovation to accomplish both,” said CEO Simon Zhang.
“After investing in an additional year of independent scientific study, with $600,000 of taxpayer funding, Ecology concluded that this project would reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by close to six million metric tons per year. That’s more GHGs than the combined yearly emissions of Seattle, Bellevue, and Tacoma,” added Godley.
“We want to contribute to post-pandemic solutions,” said Godley. “To deny this permit ignores the science and comes at the expense of local jobs and regional economic benefits. The unemployment rate in Southwest Washington has more than doubled since this project was initially proposed seven years ago,” said Godley.
While well-meaning critics may have influenced this decision, unfortunately some of those arguments are based on an incomplete understanding of the science.
“We would prefer to reach out to others concerned with climate change and invite them to collaborate with us on innovative mitigation projects,” said Simon Zhang.