Coyote Island Terminal Coal Export Project
The Coyote Island Terminal is a coal export project proposed by Ambre Energy at the Port of Morrow in Boardman.
Ambre Energy would bring up to 8.8 million tons of coal a year by train from Montana and/or Wyoming to Boardman. The company would store the coal in covered storage buildings at the Port of Morrow before transferring it to barges using an enclosed conveyor system. The barges would then take the coal down the Columbia River to Port Westward in Clatskanie, where crews would transfer it onto ocean-going ships bound for Asia. In addition to other federal and state permits, Ambre Energy has requested three draft permits from DEQ. These are permits for air quality, storm water and water quality.
Status of draft permits: DEQ received more than 16,500 comments during the public comment period on the proposed Coyote Island Terminal Coal Export Project. DEQ is currently reviewing those comments. DEQ considers and responds to all relevant comments received and may modify the proposed permits and control plans based on the comments we received. Ultimately, if the project meets all legal requirements, DEQ is required to issue the necessary permits.
DEQ regulates businesses and industry to ensure projects meet applicable environmental laws. If projects can prove they comply with these laws, DEQ must issue permits for them to operate. If they cannot meet these standards, DEQ does not issue the requested permits.
From the public meetings held last December, and from comments DEQ continues to receive, we know that many people question the agency’s limited role in the permitting process. Some people want climate change considered as part of the process, while others have called for a federal review of coal export projects.
DEQ supports Governor Kitzhaber in this effort.
How can I participate?
DEQ has set-up a number of different ways for you to participate in this process:
You can also submit a question to DEQ.
People have until 5 p.m. on Monday, August 12 to comment on the draft permits.
Actions to Date
Public hearings took place on Tuesday, July 9 at the Blue Mountain Coummunity College in Hermiston and the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.
Public Information Meetings
DEQ held three public information meetings in December 2012 in Boardman, Clatskanie and Portland. Thousands of people attended these meetings, and 5,379 people provided written comments do DEQ. Many people expressed strong feelings opposed to the project, citing a range of environmental concerns. Others said the project would bring much needed jobs and revenue to the Oregon economy.
Most comments addressed three general areas of concern or support: greenhouse gas emissions/climate change, increased rail traffic and the resulting coal dust emissions, and the economic benefits/financial viability of the project. While these are all significant considerations, they fall outside the scope of DEQ’s authority in the permitting process. View a summary of the December public hearing comments.
Stormwater Draft Permit
Unlike the air and water permits, the stormwater permit
is not site specific. Instead it is a general permit containing conditions that apply to similar construction projects statewide.