Company that planned to build large methanol plant in Tacoma terminates lease

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TACOMA – Northwest Innovation Works, which planned to build the largest methanol refinery in the world on the Tacoma Tideflats, has terminated its lease with the Port of Tacoma.

A special commission meeting had been scheduled for next week to discuss the lease’s feasibility.

“We appreciate public input and understand that questions remain unanswered,” the company wrote in a news release. “We hope the community better understands the role the environmental review process plays in answering these questions.”

NWIW ran into more opposition than it bargained for, as Tacoma residents railed against possible environmental impacts and worked to pass an initiative that would’ve effectively derailed the project.

In February, the project was paused thanks in part to the level of public opposition.

“We have been surprised by the tone and substance of the vocal opposition that has emerged in Tacoma,” Murray Godley III, president of Northwest Innovation Works, wrote in a letter on the company’s website at the tiem. “To force a facility on a community that does not welcome it would not be consistent with our goals. Therefore, we have decided to pause the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) environmental review process in Tacoma.

“We will use the next several months to engage the Tacoma community in further dialogue. This will provide us an opportunity to share more details about our proposed project, discuss the environmental and safety procedures we are planning, and hear directly from the public about their concerns, as well as receive input on further innovations.”