Activists Pack Hearing to Tell the DEQ: No Permit for Bradwood Landing LNG

March 5, 2010

With overwhelming public opposition to LNG projects on the Columbia River, and a regulatory hurdle that could prove insurmountable, the Bradwood Landing LNG terminal may soon become the first of a series of proposed LNG infrastructure projects in Oregon to meet its demise. 

Bradwood Landing backer NorthernStar Natural Gas recently demanded the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality grant the permit for Bradwood Landing without access to critical data about the project’s environmental impact.  In response, the DEQ has indicated it may deny the permit unless NorthernStar comes through with more information.  And at a Wednesday night DEQ hearing on the fate of Bradwood Landing, opponents of high-carbon LNG projects packed into the Knappa High School gymnasium to support the DEQ’s refusal to back down to energy speculators.

Upwards of two hundred people, nearly all opposed to LNG, crowded into the gymnasium to stand up for Oregon’s clean energy future and say no to LNG.  The largest new fossil fuel infrastructure proposed in the Northwestern United States, LNG infrastructure projects like Bradwood Landing would open Oregon’s doors to a new high carbon foreign fossil fuel, compromising our state’s ability to become a leader in clean energy and reducing carbon emissions from fossil fuels.  On Wednesday night the DEQ got the message loud and clear from Oregon residents who attended the hearing: Oregon voters and taxpayers support the agency in holding NorthernStar to our state’s environmental standards, and urge the DEQ to deny permits for the Bradwood Landing terminal. 

What was clear at the hearing was that opposition to LNG comes not just from landowners whose property stands to be immediately impacted by LNG infrastructure, but from a broad-based coalition that spans fishing families worried the Bradwood terminal will devastate salmon habitat, to rural jobs advocates standing up for jobs in the farming industry that stand to be lost to LNG pipelines, to environmentalists concerned about LNG’s carbon footprint and young people who will have to deal in years to come with the impacts of environmental decisions made today. 

Dan Serres of Columbia Riverkeeper testifies against the Bradwood LNG terminal

DEQ representatives there to take public comments heard from farmers who are dealing first-hand with the LNG’s lack of respect for landowners, families who have lived beside the Columbia River and enjoyed its natural beauty for decades, and environmental representatives from Columbia Riverkeeper and the Sierra Club who spoke about the devastating impact Bradwood Landing will have on salmon habitat.  Despite the LNG industry’s frequent claims that projects like Bradwood Landing will benefit Oregon, Bradwood Landing’s backers failed to turn out more than a scattering of supporters who were completely overwhelmed by opponents of LNG.  Based on who was willing to take time our of their evening and attend the DEQ’s hearing, where Oregon residents actually stand on LNG was quite clear.

This spring, the DEQ will likely make a final decision on whether or not to grant approval to Bradwood Landing.  In so doing the agency can demonstrate its intent to listen to Oregon residents and not out-of-state corporations like NorthernStar, and set a precedent of denying permits to LNG companies that refuse to provided needed information about their project’s environmental impacts. 

Though the DEQ’s final decision on Bradwood Landing is still pending, the agency’s insistence that NorthernStar must provide all the needed information about Bradwood Landing suggests the agency is truly willing to stand up for the rule of law.  At least one thing is crystal clear: if the DEQ finally rejects NorthernStar’s application, state regulators will not only be doing the right thing to protect Oregon’s environment and economy, but will do so with the backing of a truly remarkable coalition of Oregonians determined to keep LNG out of this state.

Tell FERC “No” to both Palomar Pipeline Alternative Routes!

July 6, 2009

Though the legislative session has just closed down for the year, the fight against LNG terminals and associated pipelines is still in full swing! The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has opened a Supplemental Scoping Period to gain public feedback on two alternate end routes for the Palomar Pipeline.

As it stands, the pipeline would extend from the Bradwood Landing LNG Terminal site on the Columbia River, through the Willamette Valley, and across Mt. Hood National Forest, crossing hundreds of waterways in its path.  The two “alternative routes” do not provide any further protections to Mt. Hood National Forest, and would impact still more waterways in Oregon.  The Maupin Bridge alternative puts the pipeline directly through the City of Maupin, while the Warm Springs alternative routes the pipeline through Warm Springs Reservation, including large areas of Crooked River National Grassland.

The introduction of two new alternative routes for the pipeline so close to the initial deadline for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) raises concerns that FERC will not adequately address the environmental impacts of the pipeline on the areas that the newly-introduced routes pass through.  Just within the new alternatives, the problems of human health and safety, soil disruption in fragile scablands areas, threatened species’ habitat destruction, and conflicts with pre-existing land management plans, are all raised.

The good news is, you can do something about it. Submit a comment to FERC today using their online form, and make your concerns about the Palomar Pipeline heard.  Comments are due July 13th, so please take action as soon as possible.

Below are sample comments, which you should feel free to copy and paste wholesale – consistency is the name of the game when submitting comments on Environmental Impact Statements.

Thanks for taking action, and stay tuned for further action points and events – we’re planning outings to the proposed terminal and pipeline sites at Bradwood Landing and in Mt. Hood National Forest in the coming months, and hope to see you there!

Filing Instructions:
Clicking on the above link will bring you to the FERC “Quick Comment” page; you will need to enter your name and email address, FERC will send you an email very quickly, and you will need to click on the link within that email to continue the filing process.  Enter the docket number in the appropriate field, click “Search,” and then “Select” for Docket Number CP09-35-000.

Click here to learn more about the Sierra Club’s efforts to stop reckless LNG terminals and pipelines.

Sample Comments:  Feel free to cut & paste any or all of these comments!

Docket Number: CP09-35-000

I am writing today as a concerned citizen to submit comments to the Supplemental Scoping Period for the Palomar Gas Transmission (Docket No. CP09-035-000).  I see significant problems with the Palomar Pipeline’s proposed routes, and cannot condone the construction of a pipeline with such massive environmental and public safety impacts.  These so-called “alternatives” are just two different ends the same bad story of needless degradation to the environment and to Oregonians’ quality of life.

The Maupin Bridge alternative route attempts to avoid crossing of the Deschutes River in a designated “wild and scenic” area.  However, it’s shocking that the “alternative” route is right through the center of the city of Maupin.  Maupin residents are concerned about how the pipeline would affect their quality of life – from the standpoints of safety, effects on tourism and recreation, and property values.  And the second alternative – the Warm Springs route – presents devastating effects on Crooked River National Grassland.  The pipeline would disrupt fragile scablands soil composition and threaten already-vulnerable species’ habitats in ways that cannot easily be restored.  Furthermore, the Northern Warm Springs Alternative Route would place the Palomar pipeline outside of a designated utility corridor.  This conflicts directly with the priorities and policies outlined in the Crooked River National Grassland Land Management Plan, which requires that all utility lines be within preexisting utility corridors.

In summary, neither of the two proposed alternatives truly mitigates the harm that the Palomar Gas Transmission pipeline would cause.  This eastern section of the pipeline is still proposed to go through Mt. Hood National Forest, which is unacceptable to the people who rely on the National Forest for recreation; furthermore, both “alternatives” raise serious questions about the safety of the people and ecosystems that the pipeline would pass by and through.  It is my hope that FERC will be able to adequately address these concerns in the DEIS.

[Your Name]

LNG Bill set for hearing

April 16, 2009

HB 2015, the LNG Public Protection Act, is up for its first public hearing in the Oregon Legislature on Thursday, April 16.

Your help is needed to make sure the House Sustainability and Economic Development Committee passes this bill. Send a quick email to your legislature in support of HB 2015 by clicking here.

LNG is different from domestic natural gas. Its 20 – 30% more greenhouse gas intensive, and it would be imported from far way, and sometimes unfriendly, places like Russia, Qatar and Iran.

Oregon is currently threatened by three proposed LNG import terminals and hundreds of miles of pipelines that would cross high value farmland, forests and dozens of rivers and streams. The Palomar pipeline would cut a 47-mile swath across the Mt. Hood National Forest including the Wild and Scenic Clackamas River, the Deschutes River, and Fish Creek, recently designated as Wild and Scenic by the Omnibus Public Lands Act signed into law by President Obama.  LNG pipelines have proven highly controversial among local citizens and goverments.

Its time for Oregon to stand up for itself in the debate over LNG by passing HB 2015.

LNG Public Protection Act Introduced!

March 6, 2009

The LNG Public Protection Act, HB 2015, has been introduced. Click here to send an email to your legislator.

This bill would protect Oregon from the multiple LNG terminals and hundreds of miles of pipelines that threaten Oregon’s rivers and streams, farmland, and forests.  Find our more information on the threats that LNG poses to Oregon here.