Methanol project review will include full emissions analysis

KALAMA, Wash. (AP) — A Cowlitz County judge says an environmental review of a proposed $2 billion methanol refining project must include a full analysis of potential greenhouse gas emissions.

But the Superior Court judge on Tuesday also let stand two permits for the project at the Port of Kalama pending that limited review.

Northwest Innovation Works wants to build a refinery that would produce up to 10,000 metric tons a day of methanol from natural gas piped in from North American sources. The methanol sent to China to make plastics and other goods.

In September, a state board ruled that Cowlitz County and the Port of Kalama failed to fully analyze the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions from the project, including emissions from offsite sources. And the board invalidated two shoreline permits.

Environmental groups say accounting for full carbon emissions will reveal the true environmental costs of the project.

A port official says he’s pleased the permits were reinstated.

A supplemental review of the project has already been under way.