FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, December 22, 202
For Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition, Phillip Johnson, 503-754-9303, firstname.lastname@example.org
For Crag Law Center, Courtney Johnson, 503-525-2728, email@example.com
For Citizens for Renewables, Tonia Moro, 541-973-2063, firstname.lastname@example.org
Landuse Board of Appeals delivers another blow to Jordan Cove LNG
Local land use permits overturned for LNG export terminal in Oregon
[COQUILLE, OREGON] — Today, the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) overturned Coos County’s permits for the construction of Jordan Cove LNG’s marine terminal and associated infrastructure. This is another setback to the struggling fracked gas export proposal, which lacks essential local, state, and federal permits to move forward. LUBA’s decision can be read here.
The state’s review board determined that the County erred in granting permits to dredge in Coos Bay and develop a fracked gas pipeline, liquefaction, and shipping facilities on the North Spit of Coos Bay which are the traditional lands of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians. The decision highlights concerns related to interference with public trust rights and the treatment and discharge of wastewater to an ocean outfall. The decision means that, barring further appeal, the company will need to go back to the County for further review.
A coalition of local residents, climate and coastal protection organizations challenged the permits for failing to protect the estuary and community resources in Coos Bay. Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition was the lead petitioner on these appeals.
“LUBA first overturned this permit in 2017. We won again, and we won’t stop fighting. The longer this battle goes on, the more it becomes clear that this project is bad for Coos Bay communities and ecosystems.” Said Courtney Johnson of Crag Law Center, attorney for Oregon Shores and Surfirder.
In July, LUBA reversed the City of North Bend’s approval of a local land use permit that would have allowed the disposal of dredged material from the proposed widening of the federal navigation channel in Coos Bay. The State of Oregon has also denied key water quality and coastal zone permits for the project and earlier this year Pembina, the Canadian fossil fuel corporation behind Jordan Cove LNG, withdrew permit applications from the Oregon Department of State Lands. Pembina has not reapplied for these permits.
“LUBA’s decision today shows that the Jordan Cove proposal is damaging at every level,” said Phillip Johnson, Executive Director of Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition. “It isn’t good for the climate, with all the greenhouse gases it will emit; it isn’t good for the state, crossing it with a dangerous pipeline; and as the result of this appeal demonstrates, it isn’t good for the estuary and the North Spit.”
“We are pleased that the Land Use Board of Appeals listened to our concerns about the proposed Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and overturned this permit,” said Jody McCaffree, Executive Director of Citizens for Renewables and North Bend resident. “Our community will continue to fight until the project is stopped for good.”
There are several other land use permit challenges pending before the Land Use Board of Appeals that are likely to be decided in 2021. Meanwhile, legal challenges to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s conditional approval of the project are awaiting court proceedings.
Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition and Surfrider Foundation are represented by the nonprofit Crag Law Center. Citizens for Renewables and Rogue Climate are represented by attorney Tonia Moro.