Oregon Permit Decision a Setback for Area Economy

PORTLAND – Today, the Oregon Department of State Lands announced the denial of a removal-fill permit, required to build a dock facility serving the Morrow Pacific Terminal. The permit decision follows a lengthy comment period, in which many area businesses expressed concern over the state’s extraordinary scrutiny of a widely used, administrative permit important to many waterway businesses.

“Today’s decision to deny Morrow’s permit, hurts all trade related industries and workers in our region. Increased trade through area ports is critical to the economic recovery for the entire Columbia River corridor, and is one of the few bright spots in Oregon’s economy today,” said Kathryn Stenger, spokesperson for the Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports.

Today’s decision was not a part of the environmental assessment process for the Morrow Pacific facility, and made no determination on the projects compliance with state or federal environmental standards.

Likewise, today’s decision has no bearing on the ongoing Environmental Impact Statement process for proposed terminals in Washington State.

All three proposed coal export terminals in the region have been designed to meet or surpass the region’s high standards for environmental stewardship. The Alliance expects each facility will secure necessary permits and environmental approvals, as state and federal officials complete their separate and ongoing review processes.