Salem, OR – After years of contentious Clatsop County hearings, the Bradwood saga is over. In the case of Columbia Riverkeeper v. Clatsop County (Nov. 3, 2010), the Court of Appeals sided with citizen groups to overturn Clatsop County’s approval of the Bradwood Landing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project.
In 2008, the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners enacted radical zoning changes to approve the LNG terminal on protected land. The Sierra Club, Columbia Riverkeeper, and other partners challenged this decision and prevailed at the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals twice. See Columbia Riverkeeper v. Clatsop County 58 Or LUBA 190 (2009) and Columbia Riverkeeper v. Clatsop County __ Or LUBA __ (LUBA No 2009-100, Apr. 12, 2010)
“It’s been a long fight. It’s over. We won. We are now dedicated to permanently protecting this vital salmon habitat and the right to fish in traditional areas,” said Columbia Riverkeeper Executive Director Brett VandenHeuvel. “The people of Washington and Oregon attended hours and hours of hearings opposing LNG and it’s nice to see all of their testimony validated.”
Clatsop County law requires that access to traditional fishing areas and critical salmon habitat be protected. The Court of Appeals agreed with Riverkeeper that the LNG terminal fails to protect fishing and salmon.
“Protect means protect. It doesn’t mean attempt to protect or attempt to mitigate the destruction,” VandenHeuvel stated. “This case has important implications to the remaining LNG proposals in Warrenton and Coos Bay.”
“While we’re happy to prevail over Bradwood, there are still LNG proposals on the Columbia and in Coos Bay. It’s time for our state leaders to put an end to these wasteful and unwanted projects,” stated Brian Pasko, Director of the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club.
“Even after filing bankruptcy, Bradwood kept on appealing and losing. They paid attorneys a lot of money despite owing Clatsop County, the State of Oregon and local businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt,” stated Clatsop County resident and retired librarian Cheryl Johnson.
The successful parties included Columbia Rivekeeper, Columbia River Business Alliance, the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club, and Clatsop County citizens and fishermen. Chris Winter and Courtney Johnson from the Crag Law Center represented the citizen groups. The Court of Appeals case is titled Columbia Riverkeeper v. Clatsop County, Case No A145335 (Nov. 3, 2010).