- Associated Press - Friday, February 19, 2016

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - Company officials say plans for a $1.8 billion plant at the Port of Tacoma that would convert natural gas to methanol have been shelved - at least temporarily.

Officials with a multinational consortium of chemical companies and investors called Northwest Innovation Works said in a news release Friday they’ve asked the city of Tacoma to pause an environmental review of the plant. The review is needed before the company can apply for a building permit.

Company officials say they plan to use the next several months to engage in public outreach. They say they’ve been surprised by “the tone and substance of vocal opposition” that has emerged over the proposal.

The plans have sparked resistance from Tacoma-area residents who criticize the plant’s potential impact on the environment, property values and other concerns.

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