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FERC Asked to Delay Rehearing of Bradwood Landing

In a conciliatory gesture to the states of Washington and Oregon, NorthernStar Energy LLC and Bradwood Landing LLC have asked FERC to hold rehearing of the order approving the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal and associated pipeline "in abeyance" to give the states more time to mull over the project and requests for state permits.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) "should delay issuance of its rehearing order until the states have had an additional reasonable period of time in which to fully consider the project and the applications for the state [water and air] permits, and the biological opinion for the project has been issued," NorthernStar and Bradwood Landing said in a motion filed Thursday [CP06-365, CP06-366].

"Holding the action on rehearing in abeyance will prevent premature and unnecessary litigation that may occur if the Commission issues a final order and the parties seek judicial review before the state permits are issued," they noted.

In seeking rehearing, both Washington and Oregon have argued that the federal regulators should have waited until all state and local permits were granted before making a determination on the LNG project and related pipeline facilities (see NGI, Oct. 27). The deadline for FERC to respond to the rehearing requests is Monday (Nov. 17), but the agency can always extend the deadline with a tolling order.

In mid-September, the Commission issued a certificate for Bradwood Landing's 1.3 Bcf/d LNG terminal on the Columbia River in Clatsop County, OR, and NorthernStar Energy's proposed 36-mile, 30- and 36-inch diameter pipeline (see NGI, Sept. 22). The agency took the action despite considerable opposition from local and state officials to the project, which had been pending at FERC for 42 months. FERC attached 109 safety conditions and mitigation measures to the certificate order to allay the concerns of opponents.

The sendout pipe would connect with Williams' Northwest Pipeline system north of Kelso, WA.It also would deliver to Northwest Natural Gas Co.'s pipeline system, Georgia Pacific's Wauna paper mill and Portland General Electric's Beaver Power Plant.

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