Portland, Ore. • A federal judge said Tuesday he would weigh whether the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must release environmental review documents involving a proposed coal port criticized by environmentalists.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Papak said he must decide whether the documents show the agency's internal deliberations about the Morrow Pacific coal export terminal in Boardman.
Deliberative documents can be exempt from disclosure under federal rules, depending on how they're interpreted by the releasing agency or a judge.
The conservation group Columbia Riverkeeper demanded the documents in 2012 and the corps refused.
The corps had to decide in 2012 whether to undertake an environmental impact statement, as it had with two proposed coal terminals in Washington state, or conduct a less-intensive environmental assessment that would not include public input.