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December 21, 2020 —
Today, as part of a series of in-depth studies, the Department of Ecology released its Second Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SSEIS) for the Northwest Innovation Works proposed methanol facility in Kalama.
“We appreciate the years of work and professionalism by our state and community agency partners,” said CEO Simon Zhang. “As the findings show, we will meet both economic needs and environmental goals. We look forward to the next steps.”
“The Department of Ecology directed a progressive and thorough analysis of overall project impacts and benefits,” said Vee Godley, NWIW’s Chief Development Officer. “Ecology produced a scientific analysis of unprecedented depth.”
“The Kalama project provides a model for new standards of environmental stewardship,” said Kent Caputo, General Counsel for NWIW. “Our mitigation commitments are the first standard of this kind in Washington State; we aim to be a model. Priority is to be given to local mitigation projects, as we work with an independent board of community, tribal, environmental, and government members.”
The Ecology report points out that:
— "NWIW has volunteered and Ecology finds it is feasible to mitigate in-state KMMEF related
GHG emissions.” 1
— “An implementation board consisting of community, tribal, environmental and government members would solicit and recommend a set of projects to meet the annual emission reduction obligations.” 2
“The challenge of global climate change is serious; we are committed to do our part to reduce global emissions,” said Vee Godley. “Our part includes economic fairness, by providing good family wage jobs.”
Direct economic benefits for Cowlitz County include both jobs and tax revenues. “The three years of construction will provide about 1,400 jobs, putting $725 million into the community. Ongoing yearly tax revenues will range from $30-40 million,” said Godley. “Once operational, salaries will average $70k, plus benefits. With sales tax and local spending, this will bring $1.2 billion into the region.”
“At the same time, Ecology’s study confirms that the project will reduce global GHGs by nearly six million metric tons; that’s equivalent to eliminating about twice the annual emissions as Seattle,” said Michael Mann, former Director of the City of Seattle’s Office of Sustainability and Environment.
“It is vital for all of us as residents of Kalama, Cowlitz County and Washington, that the Kalama project contributes to climate solutions while providing high paying jobs through a safe and innovative manufacturing process,” said CEO Simon Zhang. “While no single project can solve every element of climate change, we can and will contribute our part of the solution.” 1 Ecology FSSEIS, Page 102 2 Ecology FSSEIS, Page 102