OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The state of Washington has denied a key permit sought by a company that wants to build and operate a large terminal to export coal from Western states to Asia.

The Department of Ecology said Tuesday it rejected a water quality permit that Millennium Bulk Terminals wanted because the proposed facility near Longview in southwest Washington state would have caused "significant and unavoidable harm" to the environment. The department cited impacts to air quality, noise pollution and tribal resources, among other areas.

Millennium Bulk Terminals has long hoped to build a facility along the Columbia River to handle up to 44 million tons of coal a year. Trains would carry the coal from Montana, Wyoming and other states, which would be loaded onto ships headed to Asia.

The company did not immediately return a request for comment.

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