A federal judge has ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to release more than 300 pages of documents related to a planned coal terminal in Boardman.
Judge Paul Papak ordered their release Thursday, saying the agency failed to back up claims the documents should be exempt from disclosure. No deadline was set for releasing the documents, according to The Associated Press.
The Freedom of Information Act case was brought by Columbia Riverkeeper, which wanted to know why the Corps agreed to an easier environmental review for Ambre Energy's Coyote Island terminal than it did for two terminals in Washington.
The decision will force the Corps to explain its actions, Columbia Riverkeeper Executive Director Brett VandenHeuvel said in a statement.
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"This is a victory for government transparency and communities threatened by coal export on the Columbia River," he said.
Corps spokesman Matt Rabe the agency will determine what its next steps are.
"We have not had a chance to formally review the order and understand its magnitude and what it means," he said.
The Boardman terminal is designed to handle up to 8.8 million tons of coal a year, according to Herald archives. The coal would be taken there by train from Wyoming and Montana. It would be transferred to barges and taken to Port Westward in Clatskanie, Ore., where it would be loaded on ships bound for Asia.