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It’s a victory for NW families that the DEQ has required that the impacts of Ambre Energy’s Morrow Pacific project be thoroughly reviewed under the Clean Water Act by requiring a 401 water permit. Ambre Energy has a long way to go before they can start shipping coal.

Is the glass half empty, or half full?

Today, Feb 13, 2014,  we received mixed news about the Morrow Pacific coal export project.   We had a victory, with the DEQ announced a new hurdle for Ambre Energy’s flailing project on the Columbia River, requiring them to apply for a Clean Water Act 401 water permit.  Previously, Ambre was not required to obtain this permit, and the application process is a rigorous one that will provide much more scrutiny on impacts to the Columbia River, salmon, and our health.  

At the same time, unfortunately, Governor Kitzhaber's Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued three permits today for the Morrow Pacific project.

Call the Governor today and let him know that we need his leadership now more than ever. We need Governor Kitzhaber to take a stand and stop this dirty coal export project - once and for all.  We need a real commitment - no more glass half empty decisions. 

The new hurdle for the Morrow Pacific project would not have happened without people like you raising your voices in opposition to dirty coal.  Over 16,500 people have expressed concern to the DEQ about these permits - a record breaking number of public comments on any project in the history of the agency.
We are pleased to see the new requirement, but the permits issued today open the door for Ambre Energy to begin construction at the Port of Morrow in eastern Oregon, which is why we need the Governor to act - not kick the can down the road.

Power Past Coal will review the permits that DEQ issued today—an air quality permit, a construction stormwater permit, and an internal wastewater permit--and decide our next steps.  Families, businesses, health professionals, and community leaders around the Northwest continue to have grave concerns about the impacts toxic coal dust on people’s health and salmon recovery.

While the permit approvals are a setback, the new 401 water certification is a huge new hurdle for the Morrow Pacific project.

The battle is not over, and we need to show Governor Kitzhaber loud and clear that he is letting Oregon families down by allowing dirty coal companies ANY permit to pollute. We won't allow Governor Kitzhaber to let this project get built.

Call the Governor’s office and tell him to stand up to Big Coal:   (503) 378-4582

Thank you for all you’re doing to stop Big Coal.

Major Cherry Point Stakeholder sells out!

Goldman Sachs Tower, at 30 Hudson Street, in Jersey City.

Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners has sold off its remaining equity investment in Carrix, the parent company of Pacific International Terminals (PIT) and SSA Marine (they were 49% stakeholders).   PIT, SSA Marine and Peabody Energy have proposed a 48 million ton per year coal export terminal north of Bellingham, WA at Cherry Point.   If built, it would be the largest coal export terminal in North America and would mean up to 18 coal trains traveling round-trip through local communities.  The move comes after coal companies and their proponents have tabled or dropped three out of six proposed coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest in the last two years.  The new investor is Fernando Chico Pardo, a Mexican businessman.

 

Statement from Crina Hoyer, Executive Director of RE Sources for Sustainable Communities:

 

“Goldman Sachs’ stepping away from coal export is yet another sign from Wall Street that coal export is a losing investment.  We already know that local Main Street businesses would feel the negative impacts from coal export, and communities across the region are saying no to this bad deal because of health, climate, environmental and economic impacts.  We can do better than coal export both in Bellingham and the Northwest.”  

 

VICTORY!:  COAL DUST CASE ADVANCES AGAINST BNSF FOR U.S. CLEAN WATER ACT VIOLATIONS

Court gives green light for water pollution lawsuit to proceed, major implications for coal shipper...  See report here.


The Tesoro proposal for a Vancouver Oil Terminal generated 31,000 comments before the 12-19-13 end of comment period.

Another One Bites The Dust: Kinder-Morgan drops plans for coal terminal at Port of St. Helens. Breathe a sigh of relief Portlanders! This terminal would have brought the most coal trains through the City of Roses.http://bit.ly/13AiXdI

For more information contact laura.stevens@sierraclub.org.  
Ambre Energy has been unable to submit supporting information needed for a planned Nov 1, 2013 decision by the Oregon Land Board on the Morrow Pacific Coal Terminal permit requirements, and will therefore accept a delay on the decision until approximately April 1, 2014.  This will provide an extra opportunity for us to convince the Oregon Land Board, which Governor Kitzhaber chairs, that the only convincing argument that can be made is that this project will terribly damage Oregon lands.

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