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RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington state environmental regulators are rolling out a new draft permit for the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near the Columbia River in southeast Washington. The document is 16,476 pages long.
An Australia-based company called Millennium Bulk Terminals has applied for permits to export 44 million tons of coal from Wyoming and Montana through a port near Longview, Washington.
A company called Millennium Bulk Terminals has applied for permits to export 44 million tons of coal from Wyoming and Montana through a port near Longview, Washington.
Land use | Politics | Economy | Communities | Renewable energy | Environment | News | EnergyApril 29, 2015 11:23 p.m.
Oregon's Land Use Board of Appeals Wednesday upheld the rejection of a permit for a liquefied natural gas facility proposed for Warrenton.
A conservation group has convinced Oregon's Court of Appeals that state-approved water permits in the Clackamas River could have been bad for threatened fish.
The city of Portland passed new rules regulating short-term rentals in August, but few people have applied for the necessary permits to make their rentals legal.
For a small coastal community just outside the city of Bandon in Southern Oregon, the tension between conservation efforts and quality of life has been brought to the forefront this summer. Residents who live near the newly expanded 420-acre Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge have been plagued by a massive uptick in the mosquito population this summer. The mosquito problem has confined residents to their homes and the community says it has even yielded economic consequences by driving away summer tourists. U.S Fish and Wildlife Service officials say the increased mosquito population stems from high tides this year that have drawn water inland, creating a fertile breeding ground of standing water for the mosquito hatches. Frustrated residents have been looking to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which restored and manages the marsh, for answers and solutions. Officials at U.S. Fish and Wildlife are working to resolve to problem, and have issued a limited permit to Coos County for the use of some pesticides in the area. However, residents are still looking for a long-term solution and wondering who will foot the bill.
After a delayed vote following the recent oil train disaster in Canada, the approval of a proposed oil terminal in Vancouver, Washington was announced on July 23rd. On Saturday, protesters with 350.org responded with a rally in Vancouver to bring attention to oil, climate change and liquid natural gas export. In addition to the approval from the Port of Vancouver commissioners, there are more steps required in order to begin work on the project, such as Governor Jay Inslee's approval and permitting from the State of Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council.
Oregon's senators want to give states more authority when it comes to new liquified natural gas terminals. Sentators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, along with Democratic lawmakers from Maryland, Washington and Connecticut, introduced a bill last week that would repeal a specific section of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (pdf). The goal is to wrest control away from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which now has the final say in permitting sites for new LNG projects. If passed, the bill would do nothing to stop two LNG projects near Astoria, which already have approval from FERC.* If passed, the bill would affect two LNG projects near Astoria and Coos bay — which already have approval from FERC — only if those approvals are overturned on appeal. But a proposed terminal in Warrenton could be affected. Groups such as Columbia Riverkeeper, which oppose all three LNG ventures, say they think the state would do a better job of regulating liquified natural gas permits. Anti-LNG groups applauded Oregon's attorney general earlier this year when he challenged FERC's approval of an LNG facility in Coos Bay. The natural gas industry is opposed to the senators' bill. At least one company has complained that the deck is stacked against them in Oregon, in part because of Attorney General Kroger's decision to hire a vocal opponent of LNG as part of his environmental law team.
Grand Island is located about 35 miles southeast of Portland. It's mostly home to a number of farms, but recently caught the attention of the gravel industry. Baker Rock Resources is applying to open a gravel mine on the Yamhill County island. Gravel experts say it's the ideal place for nearby towns like Salem, McMinnville, and Dayton to get the needed resource. Gravel is widely used to make concrete and asphalt, and is difficult to transport long distances due to its weight. But there are strict regulations on where companies can open mines, and Baker Rock is going through that permitting process right now. It is facing opposition from Grand Island farmers. They say it would destroy good farmland and heavily increase commercial truck traffic on the island. The Land Use Board of Appeals has ruled that the site meets the necessary standards, but Protect Grand Island Farms — the group opposed to the mine — is appealing that decision. Either way, Baker Rock must go through a second step before final approval to determine the mine's impact on the community.