Update: HB 2700 passed the Oregon House on March 2 and is on its way to the Senate.
For the third session in a row, a bill to change how state-issued wetland removal-fill permits are granted in Oregon is moving forward. HB 2700 passed the House Business Committee on Friday, February 11 and could be on the House floor for a vote within a week.
While the bill applies to more than just gas pipelines, it was originally introduced at the request of LNG companies seeking to expedite the Department of State Lands permitting process to facilitate the development of hundreds miles of proposed LNG pipelines in northwest and southwest Oregon.
In northern Oregon, HB 2700 could help speed the permitting and development of the 217-mile Palomar pipeline across the Mt. Hood National Forest and dozens of small farms, woodlots, streams and rivers in the Willamette Valley. This pipeline is associated with proposed the Oregon LNG import terminal near Astoria.
In southwest Oregon, HB 2700 could speed the permitting and development of the controversial 220-mile long Pacific Connector pipeline, which would cross dozens of rural properties, old growth forests, and important salmon-bearing rivers including the Rogue, Umpqua, Coquille, and Klamath. This pipeline is associated with the Jordan Cove LNG import terminal in Coos Bay.
For info and updates on other bills the Sierra Club is tracking in the 2011 Oregon legislature, visit our State Legislative Tracker blog.