Lawsuit aims to kill stalled $2B methanol refinery project

SEATTLE (AP) — A new federal lawsuit aims to kill plans for building one of the world’s biggest methanol refineries along the Columbia River in Washington state.

Plans for the $2 billion refinery, shipping terminal and pipeline project in the small city of Kalama are already stalled after a state board required further environmental review.

Now conservation groups including Columbia Riverkeeper are suing in U.S. District Court in Tacoma.

They said Tuesday the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not consider the huge amount of greenhouse gases the project would emit or its effect on endangered orcas.

The refinery would turn fracked natural gas from Canada into methanol for shipment to China to make plastics.

Project backer Northwest Innovation Works says it would provide a cleaner source of plastics than coal-based methanol.