Calling out one of its opponents for allegedly making misleading claims, the backers of the proposed Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal along the Columbia River in Oregon pushed back Friday to say the project is not threatened in any way by a state-level permitting snag. The NorthernStar Natural Gas Corp. project remains on track and on schedule, a spokesperson told NGI.
The environmental group Columbia RiverKeeper has consistently opposed several LNG terminal proposals that have been centered at possible sites at or near the mouth of the Columbia River where it meets the Pacific Ocean.
They are "blowing out of proportion" a state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) statement that the agency is suspending the processing of two permits, which Bradwood has not yet applied for. The NorthernStar spokesperson said the permits in question "are not part of our critical path.
"This does not impact the project schedule. We continue to work with DEQ and other agencies to process our myriad permits. Separate biological assessments and opinions eventually could impact the two permits that DEQ has put aside for procedural reasons," the spokesperson said.
A letter was sent Thursday by the Oregon Department of Justice on behalf of DEQ addressing procedural matters related to processing two DEQ permits for Bradwood Landing, which has a myriad of other pending permits on the state, county and local level that it is pursuing in the wake of a conditional approval last year from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). There is also a court appeal by the state pending (see NGI, Feb. 2).
The spokesperson said this action "in no way constitutes a suspension of work," as he claims the RiverKeeper group has alleged.
NorthernStar Senior Vice President Joe Desmond said the Bradwood project consists of "hundreds" of local, state and federal permits, many of which are connected to other permits, along with overlapping and interdependent schedules for review and processing. "Starting and stopping the regulatory clock is standard practice for any agency, Desmond said.
Backers of the Bradwood Landing terminal and its associated 36.3-mile pipeline stress that the project would provide a new source of natural gas directly into the Oregon and Washington natural gas market. In addition, they cite economic advantages such as creating more than 450 jobs over three years of construction and 65 permanent jobs while contributing more than $7.8 million annually in taxes to Clatsop County.
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