Land Use Board of Appeals Delivers Another Blow to Jordan Cove LNG
Local land use permits overturned for LNG export terminal in Oregon
On December 22, 2020, 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. Crag represented Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition as 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.”
– Courtney Johnson, Crag Law Center attorney for Oregon Shores and Surfrider
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. Crag challenged this permit on behalf of Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition along with Tonia Moro who represented Coos Bay group Citizens for Renewables. 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. 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.”
– Phillip Johnson, Executive Director of Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition
“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. Our community will continue to fight until the project is stopped for good.”
– Jody McCaffree, Executive Director of Citizens for Renewables and North Bend resident.
As part of Oregon’s tradition of environmental stewardship, the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition serves as a guardian of the public interest for Oregon’s coastal region. Oregon Shores is dedicated to preserving the natural communities, ecosystems and landscapes of the Oregon coast while conserving the public’s access. Oregon Shores pursues these ends through education, advocacy, and engaging citizens to keep watch over and defend the Oregon coast.