Des Moines City Council opposes Tacoma methanol plant


by Jack Mayne

A proposal for a $3.4 billion methanol plant in Tacoma’s tide flats has been put on hold, and the Des Moines City Council unanimously approved a resolution opposing the plant at Thursday’s meeting.

The Chinese government-backed plan stirred huge controversy since Northwest Innovation Works proposed the $3.4 billion dollar project. If built, it would be the largest methanol manufacturing facility in the world, according to Citizens for a Healthy Bay in a recent Tacoma News Tribune story.

The developer last week asked the City of Tacoma to formally pause the environmental review process.

Review suspended
Councilmember Rob Back said the applicant for a methanol plant on the Tacoma waterfront has asked for a “pause” in its application, adding that the city of Tacoma has decided to “treat this decision to suspend the environment review as the applicant’s decision not to proceed with its current applications.”

Back said the Des Moines resolution opposing the plant would be kept on file for any future movement by the applicant.

Des Moines’ resolution was passed as part of the Council’s Consent Agenda. The resolution said since the city the adjacent to the city of Federal Way “and is with close proximity to the proposed project site in the Port of Tacoma,” and that “the project is of great concern to the City of Des Moines and its residents.”

The city’s opposition is “due to a lack of information and the apparent absence of an adequate and transparent process surrounding this proposed project, the Des Moines City Council is opposed to Northwest Innovation Work’s methanol plant proposal at this time.”

The Normandy Park City Council also approved a similar resolution opposing the construction of the $3.4 billion gas-to-methanol production plant.

Animals in cars
The Council also adopted an ordinance that prohibits keeping “an animal in an unattended vehicle under circumstances which could harm the animal.” The ordinance also allows police or the city’s animal control officer to “reasonably remove confined animals without liability for damage to property caused by the removal actions.”

Don’t penalize seniors
Several seniors complained to the Council about the monthly Friday furlough closure of the senior’s exercise facility, stressing the need for older people to get regular exercise. One speaker suggested perhaps a small fee could be charged.

“The deficit need not penalize seniors,” said one person.

The Council took no action on the requests.


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