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Jordan Cove Fly Over

An aerial view of the land on the North Spit of Coos Bay, taken Sept. 20, where the proposed Jordan Cove LNG export terminal would be.  

COOS BAY — Jordan Cove LNG withdrew and resubmitted its application Sept. 25, for a Section 401 Clean Water Act permit with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, after a record breaking public comment period.

According to DEQ, it received over 43,000 comments from members of the public and tribal representatives on the Clean Water Act application.

The withdrawal comes only two weeks after DEQ contacted Jordan Cove requesting more information regarding its application.  DEQ requested additional information for things like land-disturbing activities associated with the construction of the Jordan Cove Energy Project’s Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal.

“DEQ was awaiting additional information from the applicant that it needed to make a decision on the application. The applicant chose to withdraw and resubmit the application to restart the review period, as allowed under state and federal rules,” DEQ spokesperson Katherine Benenati said.

Benenati said DEQ is consulting with other agencies on next steps including the new deadline for DEQ review.

“Jordan Cove withdrew and resubmitted (the application) to allow DEQ additional time to consider the 401 certification request.  It is a procedural step which resets DEQ’s statutory one-year clock.  This is not unusual on complex projects of this nature,” Charles Deister with Jordan Cove said.

Activists opposing the LNG project statewide gathered at the Medford DEQ office on the last day of the public comment period in August to submit comments and speak out against the project.

“Communities across Oregon have been calling on our state to stop this project for over a decade,” said Allie Rosenbluth with Rogue Climate. “Gov. Kate Brown and our state agencies have substantial power to protect clean water and our climate for future generations. It’s time for our state to use that authority and stop this project for good.”

The public comment period was supposed to end in July, but DEQ officials extended it due to an overwhelming number of requests.

A Section 401 Water Quality Certification is required through the DEQ for any federally licensed or permitted projects that may result in a discharge into navigable waters. Specifically, the certification ensures that work permitted under a federal Clean Water Act Section 404 Permit will meet the state's water quality standards.

“The Clean Water Act gives each state the authority to protect its waters, wildlife, and communities from harm caused by federally-licensed projects,” said Stacey Detwiler of Rogue Riverkeeper. “This project threatens the health of our rivers, and the communities that rely on them, and we will continue to urge DEQ to use its authority to review these impacts and confirm what we already know - this project is not right for Oregon.”

This certification is just one of several the DEQ requires for projects like Jordan Cove LNG. Some of the permits Jordan Cove will be applying for in the future include an Air Containment Discharge Permit, and a Solid Waste Landfill Permit.

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Nicholas A. Johnson can be reached at 541-266-6049, or by email at nicholas.johnson@theworldlink.com.

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