Earlier today, the Land Use Board of Appeals ruled in favor of the Sierra Club, Columbia Riverkeeper, and other partners, rejecting the Clatsop County approval of land use permits for the Bradwood Landing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility. This is a crushing blow to the company, as state law prohibits them from securing state environmental permits or certifications without county land use approval.
You can read the full LUBA opinion at: http://www.columbiariverkeeper.org/public/headlines/luba%20opinion%204.12.10.pdf
Currently, there are three proposals to locate LNG facilities on the Oregon Coast and the Columbia River, coupled with associated proposals to construct hundreds of miles of new natural gas pipelines throughout Oregon. To find out more about the Sierra Club’s efforts to stop these reckless LNG proposals in Oregon, visit us online at: http://oregon.sierraclub.org/goals/lng.asp
For immediate release:
Oregon Court Rejects Bradwood Landing LNG, Again
The Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) rejected Clatsop County’s approval of the Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on the Columbia River. LUBA found the LNG terminal violates state and county laws designed to protect endangered salmon and traditional fishing areas.
“This is a crushing defeat for Bradwood Landing. With the legal requirement to protect endangered salmon and traditional fishing areas, I can’t conceive of a way this LNG project moves forward,” stated Brett VandenHeuvel, Director of Columbia Riverkeeper, who argued the case to LUBA. “This is the second time we’ve won on these issues. Bradwood has run out of options.”
Long-time Columbia River commercial fisherman, Jack Marincovich stated, “No matter what Bradwood says, this project will harm salmon and set us back as fishermen. It’s good to see the court stepping forward to protect salmon and fishermen.”
“This is an important victory over LNG on the Columbia River. It not only makes the Bradwood project less viable, but it also sends a message to the other proposed LNG projects: destroying salmon habitat and the livelihoods that depend on them will be rejected,” stated Brian Pasko, Director of the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club.
In a concurring opinion LUBA stated, “the county must ensure that any damage to those resources will be no more than de minimis. In other words, any such damage must be trivial.” Bradwood Landing’s proposal to dredge 46 acres of critical salmon habitat
In addition, LUBA rejected Clatsop County’s decision that the LNG terminal was “small to moderate” in scale, as required by county law to protect the Bradwood area of the estuary.
“The Commissioners made a mockery out of county law. The unprecedented damage caused by the LNG terminal is far beyond small to medium,” stated Astoria resident and retired school librarian, Cheryl Johnson. LUBA found that the county erred by failing to consider the dredging area and construction areas. The county lost on this same issue before LUBA in 2008.
Petitioners include Columbia Riverkeeper, Columbia River Business Alliance, Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club, and the Columbia River Clean Energy Coalition. After prevailing on the same claims in 2008, this is the second victory for petitioners. Houston-based NorthernStar Natural Gas proposed the Bradwood Landing LNG terminal, located 20 miles upstream from Astoria, Oregon, in 2005. Legal challenges and the inability to obtain needed state permits have significantly delayed the project.
Brett VandenHeuvel of Columbia Riverkeeper and Jan Wilson of the Western Environmental Law Center represented the successful petitioners.