Coal-export terminal backer challenges state's permit denial

SEATTLE (AP) – A company proposing to build a large terminal in Washington state to export coal to Asia is challenging the state's decision to deny it a key permit.

Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview on Tuesday appealed the permit decision to a state hearings board. It also sued the state Department of Ecology in Cowlitz County Superior Court.

The company argues the agency denied the project a water quality permit for reason other than impacts related to water quality.

Millennium CEO Bill Chapman told reporters in a call that Ecology invented special rules in order to block the project.

The facility proposed along the Columbia River in Longview would handle up to 44 million metric tons of coal a year. Coal would arrive by train from Montana, Wyoming and other states and then loaded on ships bound for Asia.

An Ecology spokesman said he was working on a response when reached Tuesday morning.