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Jordan Cove terminal illustration

Jordan Cove Energy Project's parent, Canadian energy company Veresen Inc., illustrates the proposed liquefied natural gas liquefaction facility and terminal on Coos Bay's North Spit.

COOS BAY — If the Jordan Cove Energy Project comes, analysts predict a multimillion-dollar spending snowball descending on the county.

Chuck Deister, Jordan Cove’s labor liaison and state lobbyist, spoke at the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce’s luncheon Wednesday at the Mill Casino-Hotel.

He said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s draft Environmental Impact Statement is expected “any day now.” The draft EIS is a big step in the liquefied natural gas facility’s permitting process.

“We are looking more likely than we have over the last 10 years we’ve been at this of going into construction right about a year from now,” Deister said.

It’s estimated construction on the $7.5 billion project ($6 billion for the LNG terminal and $1.5 billion for the pipeline) would take until second quarter 2019.

During those four years, Coos County would feel a huge impact from the population and spending influx.

“It sounds like we could get squashed in all this if we’re not prepared,” a woman called out during the chamber luncheon. “Are we behind the curve preparing for this?”

The short answer, Deister said, is “no.”

“But we want you to start thinking now,” he said. “You won’t see the bulk of the workers until 2016 or 2017. You’re going to have some time to get used to it.”

At peak construction, there will be 2,100 people working on the LNG facility and another 1,400 working on the pipeline. Over the entire construction period, that’s an average of 930 working on the LNG facility and 837 working on the pipeline.

And each of those workers will make around $96,000 a year (nearly three times Coos County's median household income), which means huge spending potential in North Bend, Coos Bay and the surrounding county.

E.D. Hovee & Company, LLC, an economic and development consulting firm out of Vancouver, Wash., provides impact evaluations for natural gas, biofuel and wind projects throughout the Pacific Northwest. The firm analyzed Jordan Cove’s potential impact in a study last year (see the attached analysis).

Analysts used spending pattern data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Economic Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey, and modeling data from IMPLAN.

For the county as a whole, they estimate a $142 million direct spending impact during those four years of construction. That includes $71 million in North Bend alone.

Throughout the county, analysts expect workers will spend tens of millions of dollars on gas, cars and car parts, dining, apparel and other retail, entertainment and recreation, health care and social assistance, and more (see the table below).

By the end of construction, that’s nearly $205 million spent in the county, including indirect spending.

About 32 percent of Jordan Cove’s work force will come from the South Coast, according to discussions with local labor unions, Deister said. The rest will be pulled from throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Once the facility is up and running, 150 people will have permanent jobs at the terminal and pipeline. Their average annual wage is expected to be $75,000 to $80,000, plus benefits.

Jordan Cove will also pay for 51 indirect jobs (sheriff’s deputies, firefighters, tugboat crews and emergency planners).

The biggest concerns at Wednesday’s chamber luncheon revolved around impact to the local housing market, U.S. Highway 101 traffic and dredging.

FERC requires Jordan Cove to provide housing so as not to disrupt the local housing market, which led to the company’s decision to build a workforce camp on the Al Peirce property under the McCullough Bridge. That proposal is currently under consideration.

The company also wants to add as little traffic to the highway as possible. The company will put a turning signal at the highway’s intersection with Trans-Pacific Highway to manage traffic flow, but they don’t want their workers driving to work every day.

“They will be on buses (from the workforce camp),” he said. “We’re also looking at water taxis and we’re looking at buying some passenger rail cars on the rail line.”

He also said dredging the channel for incoming LNG tankers is not required. Their drafts are shallow enough, he said, that additional dredging won’t be necessary.

Construction workers typically don’t bring their families to live with them, so there will be little to no impact on schools, he said.

“A good chunk of the labor force will show up with their own RVs or fifth wheels, as much as 25 percent,” he said. “The rest of the labor force leave their families in wherever they’re from — Eugene, Salem, Portland, Vancouver. We’re not anticipating a flood of kids that will need to be absorbed into the school districts.”

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Reporter Chelsea Davis can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 239, or by email at chelsea.davis@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @ChelseaLeeDavis.

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Jordan Cove direct spending

Directly benefited sector North Bend Coos County
Gas stations $10,851,000 $19,729,000
Other services $7,955,000 $17,677,000
Motor vehicle and parts sales $6,175,000 $17,644,000
Dining $9,522,000 $17,313,000
Apparel, general, specialty retail $9,166,000 $14,102,000
Entertainment and recreation $4,808,000 $13,738,000
Health care and social assistance $2,897,000 $11,586,000
Household purchases $4,583,000 $7,051,000
Health and personal care stores $3,680,000 $5,661,000
Accommodations $1,986,000 $4,965,000
Air travel $4,668,000 $4,668,000
Grocery $3,198,000 $4,568,000
Educational services $1,821,000 $3,641,000
Direct spending $71,310,000 $142,343,000
Indirect spending $62,631,000
Total with economic multiplier $204,974,000

Green light: Indicates Jordan Cove has received approval from the regulatory agency.

Red light: Indicates Jordan Cove has applied or started the application process, but not been granted approval from the regulatory agency.

Federal regulatory agencies

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Lead siting authority, analyzes impacts under National Environmental Protection Act, prepares Environmental Impact Statement

U.S. Department of Energy

Conditional approval to export to Free Trade Agreement nations (final approval still needed)

U.S. Department of Energy

Conditional approval to export to non-FTA nations (final approval still needed)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Regulatory authority under Clean Water Act Section 404 (permit for discharge of dredged/fill material into U.S. waters) and Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 Section 10 (permit for construction of a structure in, over or under navigable waterway)

U.S. Office of Fossil Energy

Long-term, multi-contract authorization to export up to 1.2 billion cubic feet per day of LNG

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Oversight responsibilities for Clean Water Act Section 404 permit, and formal review and comment responsibilities under NEPA and Clean Air Act Section 309

U.S. Department of Transportation

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration reviews application in cooperation with FERC

U.S. Coast Guard

Waterway Suitability Report

State regulatory agencies

Oregon Department of Energy

Emergency preparedness memorandum of understanding

Oregon DOE’s Energy Facility Siting Council

South Dunes Power Plant site certificate

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

Clean Water Act 401 Water Quality Certification

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

Clean Water Act 1200C construction and 1200Z industrial stormwater permits

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

Title V operating permit under the Clean Air Act

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

Air Contaminant Discharge Permit

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

National Pollution Discharge Elimination System water quality permit renewal

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

WPCF permits

Oregon Department of State Lands

Removal-fill permits for Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, Jordan Cove marine terminal and South Dunes Power Plant

Oregon Water Resources Department

Issues limited licenses for water right transfer

Oregon State Historic Preservation Office

Cultural resources documents review

Department of Land Conservation and Development

Coastal concurrence or coastal objection on Coastal Zone Certification