As a result of the overwhelming number of public comments received by the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) in opposition to Pembina’s “removal-fill” permit application for the Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and the Pacific Connector fracked gas pipeline, DSL announced a six month extension for further review.
Throughout the 60-day public comment period on the permit, the Department of State Lands received over 50,000 comments in opposition to the project. More than 3,000 people spoke out against the project in public hearings, including impacted landowners, anglers, small business owners, tribal members, health professionals, and many more Oregonians concerned about the impacts the fossil fuel project would have on nearly 500 waterways. The majority of attendees at hearings in Klamath County, Jackson County, Douglas County, Coos County, and Salem demanded that the permit be denied.
Pembina must receive Department of State Lands approval for one of the largest dredging projects in Oregon history to drastically alter the Coos Bay estuary for the proposed liquefaction and LNG shipping terminal, as well as for the river crossings of nearly 500 Oregon waterways. The Department of State Lands has the authority and responsibility to deny this permit if the project would harm waterways or impact navigation, fishing, and public recreation.
“We urge the Department of State Lands to stand up for Oregonians’ clean water by denying this permit,” said Stacey Detwiler of Rogue Riverkeeper. “Blasting, trenching, and drilling under and through nearly 500 waterways across the state would have irreversible damage to our clean drinking water and recreation-based economy.”
With this extension, Pembina is now more than one year behind its schedule for the Jordan Cove LNG project. The Canadian fossil fuel corporation was hoping to qualify for all state, federal, and local permits by the end of 2018. As of February, Pembina has not qualified for any state or federal permits and has even lost critical land use permits in both Coos and Douglas Counties. In 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled that this project did not qualify for a permit. The company filed again when the Trump administration took office.
“Year after year, out-of-state corporate interests have been unable to demonstrate that this project will not harm water quality, existing jobs, landowner rights, energy prices, small businesses, and our climate,” said Allie Rosenbluth of Rogue Climate, a community organization based in Jackson County. “The only way Pembina will ever get permits is by throwing around special interest money through campaign contributions, lobbyists, and a barrage of misleading media ads. It is time for Governor Kate Brown and state agencies to stop this project once and for all. What we need is a faster transition to renewable energy and greater energy efficiency.”
“As a fishing guide, I know how important clean rivers are for Southern Oregon’s economy,” said Stuart Warren, owner and guide at Stuart Warren Fly Fishing. “The Oregon Department of State Lands needs to protect our existing jobs in fishing and recreation by denying this permit for Jordan Cove.”
“This project would cross 485 waterways and risk the drinking water of over 156,000 Oregonians,” said Dr. Melanie Plaut of Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility. “State Lands must deny this permit because the pipeline and export terminal is not the best use of our waterways.”
The state of Oregon has the authority to stop these types of harmful projects that put clean water and the health of Oregonians at risk. The Department of State Lands can deny the permit if it determines that the 229-mile pipeline and export terminal would degrade water quality for fishing, recreation, and transportation. Today’s extension means that the Department of State Lands will be able to fully review the substantial comments submitted in opposition to the project.
DSL will announce their decision by September 20, 2019. More information from the Oregon Department of State Lands can be found at: https://www.oregon.gov/dsl/WW/Pages/jordancove.aspx