Oregon DEQ Denies Water Permit for Jordan Cove Project

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has denied, “at this time,” Jordan Cove Energy Project’s (Jordan Cove) application for a Section 401 Water Quality Certification. DEQ’s approval is required for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to issue permits for Jordan Cove’s proposed liquefaction and LNG export terminal at Coos Bay, Ore. and an interconnected pipeline. The denial was made “without prejudice,” which means Jordan Cove may reapply for the certification and submit additional information that could result in a different decision. DEQ denied application for the certification because there is insufficient information to demonstrate compliance with water quality standards, and because the available information shows that some standards are more likely than not to be violated.” In addition, the denial stated that “[t]hrough further analysis, and possibly through project changes and mitigation, the applicant may be able to show the standards for certification will be met, but the current record does not allow DEQ to reach that conclusion today.” DEQ’s specific concerns, among others, include: (1) expected effects of the construction and operation of the proposed pipeline and associated road and work areas on water temperature and sediment in streams and wetlands; and (2) the risk of release of drilling materials from the construction of the proposed crossing of the Coos Bay estuary.

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