NorthernStar Natural Gas Corp.’s Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas (LNG) project along the Columbia River in Oregon received a reaffirmation of earlier support last Thursday from the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners, which voted 4-1 for its staff to bring before it a revised final land-use plan supporting the LNG project’s development. The revisions involved definitional issues that the state Land-Use Appeals Board (LUBA) asked the local authorities to correct.(see Daily GPI, March 25, 2008).

Following the land-use appeals unit’s direction, Clatsop County directed its staff to bring before it revised land-use findings to refer to the statewide planning goal definition of the word “protect,” and clarify that Bradwood Landing does indeed meet the county’s definition of “small or moderate” scale development.

“Today’s action by Clatsop ensures its original approval of Bradwood’s land-use application is consistent with both the county’s land-use code and Oregon’s statewide planning goals,” said Joe Desmond, NorthernStar’s senior vice president of external affairs. NorthernStar has committed to meet all applicable local, state and federal standards related to the construction and operation of its Bradwood terminal, which received a conditioned certificate order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last Sept. 18.

NorthernStar continues to tout its project and the various federal, state, and local hurdles it has overcome in its efforts to build an LNG facility that it maintains could be an economic boon to the Pacific Northwest, but which still has no designated sources for the gas supplies anticipated to flow through the Bradwood Landing LNG terminal and its associated 36.3-mile pipeline that would provide a new source of natural gas directly into the Oregon and Washington natural gas markets.

On March 20, 2008 the Clatsop elected commissioners approved Bradwood’s consolidated land-use application on a 4-1 vote after a nine-month public process. Last January LUBA issued a decision that rejected 21 of 23 arguments raised by project opponents. Two items were remanded to the Clatsop County board to be fixed and LUBA also upheld the County’s variance decision to allow access road improvements.

On March 4 The Oregon Court of Appeals dismissed a challenge by opponents of Bradwood Landing to LUBA’s January decision. According to court documents, Bradwood’s supporters contend that opponents failed to provide proof of mailing as required by Oregon law. Oregon case law says there is no way to cure the problem if the appeal is not filed in a timely way, effectively ending further appeal of the issues already determined by LUBA. “The court’s dismissal was a major setback to opponents’ publicly stated strategy to challenge the Bradwood project through legal and procedural delays,” a Portland, OR-based Bradwood spokesperson said.

“A regional analysis of the effects of increased natural gas supply from a Columbia River LNG terminal by University of Oregon economist Dr. Phil Romero showed that Bradwood could reduce the wholesale cost of natural gas by 13% and support the creation of between 5,100 and 20,300 jobs,” Desmond said.

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