State denies Jordan Cove Project water quality certification

Pembina needs the certification for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to issue permits for the pipeline, which would extend from Malin to North Bend.

Posted: May 7, 2019 10:55 AM

COOS BAY, Ore. -- The future of the Jordan Cove Project is in question after state officials denied a crucial water quality certification on Monday, saying “some standards are more likely than not to be violated.”

Pembina, the company behind the project, hopes to build a 229-mile long natural gas pipeline and export terminal in Oregon. Pembina needs the certification for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to issue permits for the pipeline, which would extend from Malin to North Bend.

Despite the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s decision, Pembina can reapply for the certification. State officials said through project changes and further mitigation, Pembina may be able to show they will meet the requirements for the certification.

SPECIAL REPORT: Jordan Cove Project, Part One

On Monday, Pembina officials issued the following statement:

“Today we were advised by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, of its decision to deny our Section 401 permit without prejudice, based on procedural concerns DEQ has in relation to recent court decisions. Pembina’s management team is working to better understand this decision and its impacts and will communicate updates when appropriate.”

SPECIAL REPORT: Jordan Cove Project, Part Two

Officials said their main concerns are that construction will negatively affect water temperature and sediment. The proposal also involves crossing the Coos Bay estuary. Officials said drilling materials could be released during the construction.

The DEQ’s deadline to evaluate Pembina’s request had been extended from May 7 to Sept. 24, but officials said they made their decision by the original deadline to ensure they wouldn’t unintentionally waive the state’s authority to review the water quality impacts.

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