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EPA Wants Assurances Natural Gas Project Won't Harm Oregon's Environment

The Jordan Cove LNG export terminal project would require dredging in Coos Bay to allow for tanker traffic.

The Jordan Cove LNG export terminal project would require dredging in Coos Bay to allow for tanker traffic.

Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives

The Environmental Protection Agency has waded into the discussion about the proposed liquefied natural gas export terminal in Coos Bay, Oregon. 

The federal agency wants assurances the Jordan Cove terminal and associated pipeline won’t harm streams and wetlands in Southern Oregon.  

The EPA submitted feedback on the project’s draft environmental impact statement, published by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Despite the statement’s heft – coming in at around 5,000 pages — the EPA says federal energy regulators haven’t provided enough information.    

Issues the EPA wants more analysis and information about:

  • How pipeline crossings will affect stream temperatures
  • How adding a third shipping berth at the terminal site in Coos Bay would affect wetlands
  • How a temporary worker housing project will manage wastewater and stormwater and how and when that land will be restored after the housing is removed
  • How the proposed Southwest Oregon Regional Safety Center will affect wetlands
  • How local schools will absorb students of families that relocate for temporary construction jobs
  • How increased production of U.S. natural gas supplies for export at terminals like Jordan Cove will affect the environment
  • How dredged material from Coos Bay will be disposed on an ongoing basis

Although it’s not guaranteed FERC will incorporate the suggested changes, the EPA does hold special status as a “cooperating agency.”  

Friday is the deadline for public comment on the Jordan Cove draft environmental impact statement.