Unpermitted Oil Terminal Seeks DEQ Approval

Blog post by Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky, Columbia Riverkeeper; Phot0 by Rob Davis, The Oregonian

March 21, 2014. The oil terminal along the Columbia River at Port Westward has been operating outside the law by moving more explosive Bakken crude oil than their current air pollution permit allows. According to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the crude oil company Global Partners (aka “the Columbia Pacific Biorefinery”) violated air quality laws by moving nearly four times more crude oil than their permit allows.

Global Partners is now applying for a new permit with DEQ to bring 1.8 billion gallons of oil annually through Columbia County, enough to fill 50 trains per month. Submit a comment about Global’s attempt to increase crude oil train traffic.

 Public Hearing

DEQ is holding a public hearing on April 3 for the new permit.

Can’t attend the hearing? DEQ is holding a public comment period on the air pollution permit through 5:00PM on Friday, April 11. Submit your comment today!

Recent oil spills and train explosions pose serious threats to rail communities. Last year, 47 people were killed in Lac Megantic, Quebec, when a unit train of crude oil, identical to those traveling to Port Westward, from the Bakken region derailed and exploded. Additional derailments and explosions in Alabama and North Dakota of Bakken crude oil trains have raised alarms at local, state and federal levels across the nation, including a moratorium on new crude oil infrastructure in Albany, New York, where Global Partners operates a Bakken crude oil terminal.

Click here for an in-depth report from The Oregonian

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