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Tell Oregon Department of State Lands to Deny Removal-Fill Permits for Jordan Cove by February 3rd 2018

For more than 14 years, southern Oregon communities have been fighting a proposal from a Canadian energy company to build a 229-mile Pacific Connector fracked gas pipeline and the Jordan Cove LNG export terminal, collectively called “Jordan Cove”. If approved, the pipeline and terminal would be the largest climate polluter in the state and pipeline and terminal construction would threaten Oregon rivers, streams and the Coos Bay estuary.

On December 6th, 2018 the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) opened a 60-day public comment period for an important permit known as the “Removal-Fill Permit.” DSL is one of several state agencies that can shut down the Jordan Cove LNG by denying necessary ‘removal-fill’ permits needed for dredging related to the pipeline and terminal.

Under the Clean Water Act, the state of Oregon has the authority to deny permits for projects that could harm drinking water, irrigation, fishing, rafting, clamming, and purity of waterways. Similar fracked gas pipeline projects across the country have been stalled or stopped completely when these permits are denied by state agencies. In 2014, DSL denied removal-fill permits for the Coyote Island coal export terminal near Boardman, Oregon.

This January, DSL Director Vicki Walker and DSL staff will host hearings in Southern Oregon and Salem to hear from community members about the Jordan Cove LNG and Pacific Connector pipeline project.

Comment Guide

How does the Jordan Cove pipeline and terminal impact Oregon’s rivers and streams?

Jordan Cove LNG Terminal: Dredging of Coos Bay for the terminal and navigation channel to allow LNG tankers to access the port will likely increase turbidity (murkiness) in the bay. This can harm habitat for salmon and shellfish, like oysters and clams. The project will also cause the permanent loss of critical habitat at the bottom of the Bay, increased temperatures from discharges of cooling water, injury to fish and other aquatic life from construction of the marine slip, and permanent loss of coastal riparian vegetation. Dredging the Bay and navigation channel could significantly increase risks to public safety in the event of a tsunami.

Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline: Construction of the 229-mile pipeline would impact wetlands and waterways at a minimum of 485 individual locations and would effect a total of nearly 6 miles of wetlands. At each place where the pipeline crosses stream and rivers, the construction will degrade fish habitat and water quality. Removing streamside vegetation and damming, dredging, or diverting waterways will likely increase pollution by increasing stream temperature, turbidity (murkiness), and impairing healthy aquatic habitat for fish. These and other water quality impacts will diminish the quality of habitat for fish. It may also harm drinking water supplies for more than 116,000 Oregonians.

For more detailed facts about the impacts, download the Water Impacts Primer above.

Come to a public hearing!

In addition to sending a written comment, we need everyone to attending public hearings to give testimony or just to pack the room, letting DSL know that Oregon doesn’t want this gas pipeline or LNG terminal.

  • Klamath County: Monday, Jan. 7 from 5:30-8 p.m. at Klamath Falls Community College (7390 S 6th St, Klamath Falls)  

  • Jackson County: Tuesday, Jan. 8 from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Jackson County Expo (1 Peninger Rd, Central Point, Ore.)

  • Douglas County: Wednesday, Jan. 9 from 5:30-8 p.m. at Seven Feathers Casino (146 Chief Miwaleta Ln, Canyonville)

  • Coos County: Thursday, Jan. 10 from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Mill Casino (3201 Tremont Ave, North Bend)

  • Salem: Tuesday, Jan. 15 from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Department of State Lands (775 Summer St NE, Salem)

    Check back in early January for updates on rally times and locations in advance of the hearings.

What is the permit that I’m commenting on?

Permit: State Removal-Fill Permit

Agency: Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL)

What is the agency reviewing?

DSL is one of several state agencies that can shut down the Jordan Cove project by denying necessary ‘removal-fill’ permits needed for dredging related to the pipeline and terminal. Under Oregon law (ORS 196.795-990), DSL is required to determine whether (1) the project is consistent with the protection, conservation, and best uses of the water resources of the state; (2) the project is the practicable alternative with the least adverse impacts on the water resources; and (3) the project does not unreasonably interfere with the preservation of waters for navigation, fishing, or public recreation. DSL is also required to review the public need for the project, the economic costs to the public, public health and safety, compatibility with existing land uses, and proposed mitigation for impacts to waterways.

Agency website: https://www.oregon.gov/dsl/WW/Pages/jordancove.aspx

How do I send a written comment?

Online: http://nolngexports.good.do/DSL/DSLComments/

Email — Use the comment template to help write your email body.

To: DSL Coordinator Bob Lobdell <robert.lobdell@dsl.state.or.us>
Subject line: Public Comment DSL Application Number 60697 NWP-2017-41

Mail — Print the comment template, fill it out, and mail to this address:

Jordan Cove comments
Oregon Department of State Lands
775 Summer St. NE, Ste 100
Salem, OR 97301

Deadline: Written comments must be received by February 3, 2019, at 5 p.m

What can I include in my comments?

The goal of comments is to tell the Department of State Lands (DSL) to deny the removal-fill permit for the reasons listed below. You can use this language in your comment if you want!

  1. Jordan Cove has failed to demonstrate that the project is consistent with the protection, conservation, and best use of Oregon’s waters.

  2. Jordan Cove has failed to demonstrate that the project is a practicable alternative with the least adverse impacts on water resources.

  3. Jordan Cove has failed to demonstrate that the project won’t interfere with navigation, fishing, or public recreation.

Your comments don't need to be technical or complicated! Just focus on the impacts that the pipeline and terminal would have on streams and rivers and how that would affect you. Additionally, you can touch on impacts that dredging and construction would have on public safety, water quality, drinking water, wildlife, recreation, fishing, navigation of public waters and more.

1. DSL should deny permits because the proposed fracked gas pipeline and terminal would likely unreasonably interfere with beneficial uses of waterways including navigation, fishing, and public recreation. (See ORS 196.825(1)(b)).

What to write about: Include your specific concerns about how you recreate on the impacted rivers and streams. Do you like to go fishing, boating, swimming, rafting, or hiking on or near the Rogue, Umpqua, Klamath, Coos, or Coquille rivers? Do you like to go fishing, boating, or swimming in Coos Bay? Do you live in Southern Oregon and use water for irrigation or livestock watering? How would you be impacted if these waters became polluted as a result of dredging these rivers and streams or filling in wetlands?

    • EXAMPLE: I love fishing on the Rogue River and am concerned that pipeline construction will harm fish. Constructing the pipeline will cut down trees near streams, which can heat the stream and harm fish and fish habitat.

    • EXAMPLE: I own (or I work) for a rafting company that holds trips on the Klamath, Rogue, Coos, and/or Umpqua Rivers and are concerned that the river would become inaccessible during construction and that impacts will permanently alter the aesthetic value of the river, which would negatively impact your business/place of employment.  

    • EXAMPLE: I go clamming in Coos Bay and I’m afraid giant tankers will create too much traffic for the public to navigate the channel and that dredging will harm wildlife where community members traditionally fish.

2. Increased harm to Oregon’s waters: The project is not consistent with the protection, conservation, or best use of Oregon’s waters. (See ORS 196.825(1)(a)).

What to write about: How would you be impacted if the Klamath, Rogue, Umpqua, Coos, or Coquille Rivers became polluted as a result of dredging these rivers and streams or filling in wetlands? Consider possible impacts to fish, wildlife, or public safety (polluted drinking water, increased flooding). How would you be impacted if dredging in Coos Bay destroyed aquatic habitat for fish and shellfish? Include your specific concerns about how the project is not in the public interest and will harm our rivers and our communities.

    • EXAMPLE: I am concerned that trenching, blasting, and damming streams will pollute the water by increasing muddiness, and will harm fish. I spend time every summer at the South Umpqua River with my kids and dogs when we visit my folks.

    • EXAMPLE: This project is one of the largest and most environmentally harmful private projects in Oregon. It threatens fish, clean water, recreation, and wildlife.

3. Increased risks to public health and safety: The terminal and pipeline would likely interfere with public health and safety. (See ORS 196.825(3)(e)).

What to write about: How would you be impacted if construction of the pipeline resulted in increased pollution of your drinking water supplies? How would you be impacted if dredging of Coos Bay and the navigation channel increased tsunami risk to your community? The pipeline would also cross the source streams for 11 municipal drinking water supplies.

    • EXAMPLE: I live (or I work) in Medford and am concerned that the pipeline will cross tributaries to my local drinking water supply.

    • EXAMPLE: I am concerned about the public safety impacts of this project including that the Jordan Cove LNG export terminal would put over 16,000 people in a hazardous burn zone and that this high-pressure explosive gas pipeline would cross some of Oregon’s most fire-prone forests.

Download this comment guide, the comment template, and water impacts facts at the top of this page.

 Bill Gow speaks at the rally on August 16th in Medford where 25,000 of the 42,000 comments were submitted to DEQ in summer 2018

Bill Gow speaks at the rally on August 16th in Medford where 25,000 of the 42,000 comments were submitted to DEQ in summer 2018