KALAMA, Wash. — A key permit decision for a methanol project in Kalama is on hold after the state Department of Ecology announced it’s pausing its review to ask for more information.

The Daily News reported that Ecology issued a decision Wednesday and is requesting information from Cowlitz County, Northwest Innovation Works and the Port of Kalama regarding the project’s greenhouse gas emissions before it will make a decision on whether or not to issue a shoreline conditional use permit for the project.

Northwest Innovation Works hopes to build the $2 billion project at the Port of Kalama to convert natural gas into methanol for shipment to Asia. Backers said the project would create about 1,000 construction jobs and 200 permanent jobs and generate millions of dollars in local taxes.

Cowlitz County Department of Building and Planning determined in September that the project should get the shoreline permits as previously granted. Ecology then had 30 days to approve or deny the permits or ask for more details.

“Our review of the county’s permit decision found significant information missing from the project’s Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and inadequate analysis of the project’s potential effects on Washington’s environment,” Ecology’s letter to the county said.

Ecology is asking for specific details on NWIW’s proposed plan to offset the project’s in-state greenhouse gas emissions and a “thorough, comprehensive” analysis of the project’s global and in-state greenhouse gas emissions.

The county, port and NWIW have until Nov. 7 to provide the information to the county. Once the information is received, Ecology has another 30 days to decide if the project needs additional environmental review or issue a final permit decision.

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