Coal company sues Washington state over coal-export terminal

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Developers of a massive coal-export terminal proposed on the Columbia River have sued Washington state over the project.

Utah-based Lighthouse Resources sued in federal court in Tacoma Wednesday, alleging that state officials violated federal laws in delaying and denying permits for its Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview project.

The project would move coal mined in U.S. Western states through a terminal in Longview, Washington, for export to South Korea, Japan and other Asian markets.

Lighthouse, which operates coal mines in Montana and Wyoming, says the state is actively preventing coal mined in other states from moving in foreign and interstate commerce and in violation of federal law.

The project has faced a series of setbacks, including last fall when the state Ecology Department denied the project a key water permit.

An Ecology spokesman said in a statement that the agency remains confident in denying that permit.

Millennium Bulk Terminals has also sued Washington in state court.