Oregon Farmland Protected from Proposed Methanol Refinery at Port Westward!
On May 22, 2019, the Oregon Court of Appeals upheld the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals’ finding that Columbia County failed to comply with Oregon’s land use law by doubling the size of Port Westward and opening high-quality farmland to industrial development.
In order to move forward with any fossil fuel development on the site the Port will have to go back to the County and address the errors identified by LUBA and upheld by the Court of Appeals. Until and unless that happens, the property remains as high-value farmland and habitat. And, without the rezoned property, a controversial fracked gas-to-methanol refinery cannot move forward with plans to site a massive refinery in Oregon.
“We will continue to urge Columbia County to protect high-yield farmland and fish habitat. Our communities are threatened by the fossil fuel projects proposed at Port Westward, whether they be oil train terminals or a methanol refinery.” – Darrel Whipple, Co-Chair of Envision Columbia County.
“The court’s decision recognizes that the county must do more than just check a box. It must thoroughly assess whether the potential fossil fuel developments and other proposed uses can be compatible with the sensitive farm and wildlife resources in the area.”- Maura Fahey, staff attorney for Crag who argued the case on behalf of Columbia Riverkeeper.
Envision Columbia County is a group of thoughtful, earnest people who have been meeting once a month since 2014 to discuss local trends and issues. At times they act individually or as a group on issues which they believe are important.