On August 19, 2014, DEQ issued Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery, located in Clatskanie, a Standard Air Contaminant Discharge Permit for storage and marine vessel loading of crude oil and ethanol.
DEQ placed the permit on public notice from Feb. 28, 2014, through May 5, 2014, and held a public hearing for the proposed permit on April 3, 2014, at Clatskanie High School. DEQ received approximately 1,400 public comments throughout the public comment period. DEQ also approved an Oil Spill Contingency Plan for the facility after public comment.
Questions and answers
DEQ denies request to reconsider air quality permit
On Oct. 17, 2014, Northwest Environmental Defense Center, Center for Biological Diversity, Neighbors for Clean Air, Sierra Club, and Columbia Riverkeeper jointly filed a petition requesting DEQ reconsider the Columbia Pacific Bio-refinery air quality permit issuance. The petitioners based their request on the following claims:
DEQ made substantial revisions to the permit after the close of the public comment period requiring a new public comment period.
DEQ failed to address critical issues raised by the petitioners during the comment period, so the permit issuance was not justified.
The Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery oil terminal met criteria to be considered a new federal major source of air contaminant emissions that required a Prevention of Significant Deterioration permit.
DEQ carefully reviewed the assertions in the request for reconsideration and determined the petitioners did not establish grounds for DEQ to grant their request. DEQ is therefore denying the petitioners’ request for reconsideration.
View a full copy of the petition and DEQ’s response.
DEQ Enforcement Action
On March 27, 2014, DEQ issued a civil penalty to Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery for establishing a new major source of air pollution without a permit and an order outlining what the company needs to do to come into compliance.
Notice of Civil Penalty Assessment and Order
On April 10, 2014, Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery appealed the DEQ enforcement order and requested a hearing.
Getting the air quality permit is one of the actions the order requires Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery to take. CPBR has contested the enforcement action. The next step in DEQ's enforcement process is a contested case hearing. At the hearing, DEQ must prove that, more likely than not, the allegations on which DEQ based its case are true and the assessed penalty is supported by law.