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Commentaries and editorials

Governor Scolds FERC
for "Fatally Flawed" Analysis

by Cassandra Profita
The Daily Astorian, July 11, 2008

Gov. Ted Kulongoski says federal energy regulators are working with a "fatally flawed and legally deficient" environmental analysis as they consider approval of the Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas project.

With the project on next week's Federal Energy Regulatory Commission agenda, a final decision could be drawing near.

In a letter sent today, Kulongoski scolded FERC for moving toward approval with a flawed description of the project's impacts that ignores legal obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Kulongoski wants FERC to withdraw its final environmental impact statement, released June 6, and rewrite a draft report for public review. The new report needs to include more detailed information on the project's mitigation, safety and emergency plans, design changes and the state energy department's report on the need for LNG in Oregon, he said.

Without this information, FERC's final analysis of the project is "woefully inadequate," Kulongoski wrote. It "continues the practice ... of assuming away the significant environmental challenges posed by this LNG import terminal."

The governor said FERC shouldn't issue a license to Bradwood until after the state concludes the project meets its land-use and water quality requirements.

He wants FERC to demand the project use screened water intakes for its ballast and engine cooling water, which will be taken out of the Columbia River at a site frequented by juvenile salmon. And he said the new information submitted this week by Bradwood Landing developer NorthernStar Natural Gas for screening the water to protect fish needs to be reviewed.

Attached to his letter were five pages of errors, omissions and unanswered questions in FERC's final report on the Bradwood project.

They include:

The governor also included 40 pages of state agency comments on the final environmental impact statement. Each of the eight agencies that responded with details that had been raised after FERC issued its draft environmental report and were not addressed in the final analysis.

Cassandra Profita
Governor Scolds FERC for "Fatally Flawed" Analysis
The Daily Astorian, July 11, 2008

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