Oregon Warns Permit for
by Jeff Barnard, Associated Press
GRANTS PASS, ORE. -- Oregon environmental regulators have told the Texas developers of the Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas terminal on the Columbia River that a crucial water quality permit will likely be denied.
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Director Dick Petersen told Northern Star Natural Gas in a Feb. 17 letter that the company still has not provided three-dimensional computer modeling and sampling that are "essential" to evaluate erosion, water quality and fish habitat issues.
The deadline for a decision on the Clean Water Act certificate is May 8.
Northern Star spokesman Joe Desmond said they are evaluating the letter and have yet to decide whether to take the department's advice to withdraw and then resubmit their application to avoid a denial.
Houston-based Northern Star had hoped to start work in December on Oregon's first LNG port, located about 30 miles from the mouth of the Columbia River.
The letter said the two-dimensional modeling that Northern Star has offered is not adequate to evaluate the project's impact on the Columbia River estuary, and that water sampling is needed from peak flows during March and low flows during August. It also noted that the request had been repeated last November, with no result.
"It is our determination that DEQ is unable to adequately evaluate impacts to water quality from the project as proposed without this information," Petersen wrote.
The department said it also would like to see the outcome of the evaluation that NOAA Fisheries Service is doing on potential harm to threatened and endangered salmon, known as a biological opinion. It noted that the agency had already found inadequate an environmental review by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The states of Oregon and Washington, Columbia Riverkeepers and the Nez Perce Tribe are appealing the commission's approval of the project, arguing it made the decision before environmental reviews and state permits were in.
LNG is on Path of Fish Sanctuary by Cassandra Profita, Daily Astorian, 11/3/8
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