Army Corps defends refusal to release Oregon coal-export terminal environmental documents

A federal judge is weighing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' refusal to release environmental-review documents of a coal port to a conservation group.

Columbia Riverkeeper demanded the documents in 2012. The Corps refused, arguing that the documents are exempt from disclosure.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Papak said in a Portland, Oregon, courtroom on Tuesday that he must decide whether the Corps' documents show their internal deliberations about the Morrow Pacific coal export terminal in Boardman, Oregon.

The terminal would bring coal from the Northern Rockies through Idaho and the Columbia Gorge for export to Asian markets from a port on the Pacific Ocean.

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden have said the Corps should conduct a more-thorough review than they've planned, with more public input.