Frustration over how long it’s taking to examine a proposal to build the nation’s largest rail-to-marine oil transfer terminal in Vancouver reached a new level of intensity Wednesday, as the Port of Vancouver urged Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to order state regulators to produce a publicly available timetable and stick to it.
The port, which approved a lease in 2013 for the oil-handling facility, announced its action in a news release that included a Tuesday letter from port CEO Todd Coleman to Inslee. The letter takes umbrage with “continued delays” by the state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, which is conducting an environmental impact analysis of the oil terminal, proposed to handle an average 360,000 barrels of crude per day.
In an email to The Columbian Wednesday, Jaime Smith, a spokeswoman for the governor, said “we’re still reviewing” the letter and “haven’t yet responded.” Eventually, Inslee will receive a recommendation from the evaluation council and will have the final say over whether the oil terminal gets built.
Coleman’s letter follows a similar one sent by Tesoro Corp. and Savage Cos. — operating as Vancouver Energy and seeking to build the oil terminal — to Bill Lynch, chairman of the evaluation council. In that June 24 letter, the companies called on Lynch to step in and set a “firm timeline” for the council’s entire review process and to demand that the council’s staff and consultants comply with that timeline. The companies’ letter expressed frustration with the news that the oil terminal’s draft environmental impact analysis won’t be published for public review and comment until Nov. 24. That new timeline contrasts with earlier indications that the extensive document would be ready this summer. The entire review process began nearly two years ago when Tesoro and Savage applied to build the project.
Read more at The Columbian.