The Oregon Department of State Lands Rejects Extension Request on Key Permit for Proposed Jordan Cove LNG Project

The rejection is the latest state-level setback for the $10 billion pipeline and export facility.

The Oregon Department of State Lands today rejected a request for an extension on a key permit for the proposed Jordan Cove natural gas pipeline and export terminal.

The $10 billion project, which would include a new 229-mile pipeline from Southern Oregon to Coos Bay, has been on the drawing board for more than a decade.

Trade unions want to build it but environmentalists and some affected land owners, whose land could be condemned, oppose the project.

Pembina, the Canadian energy company behind Jordan Cove, applied for what's called a fill-removal permit in December 2017. That state permit applies to river and wetlands crossings and dredging in Coos Bay.

Pembina faced a Jan. 31 permit deadline for DSL to make a decision on the permit and on Jan. 14, asked DSL for an extension to March 31, 2020.

Today, DSL Director Vicki Walker rejected that request, saying Pembina had failed to provide a variety of information about environmental impacts, mitigation and outstanding legal issues it had requested.

"The Department does not agree to an extension and is therefore denying your request," Walker wrote to Pembina on Jan. 21. "Please be aware the Department has not yet received requested critical information."

The agency's stance follows the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's rejection of a related permit last year. (Under the Trump administration, federal regulators have reversed an earlier Obama administration rejection of the project, leaving state officials as the sole roadblock.)

In November, climate activists, including former Secretary of State Bill Bradbury, occupied Gov. Kate Brown's office in the Capitol, leading to arrests. Brown has remained neutral on Jordan Cove, saying she would let the permitting process play out.

Brown, along with Secretary of State Bev Clarno and state Treasurer Tobias Read comprise the State Land Board, which oversees the Department of State Lands which next meets Feb. 4.

A Pembina representative could not immediately be reached for comment.

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