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Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery

Air quality permit for transloading facility

Cascade Kelly Holdings, LLC, doing business as Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery, or CPBR, operates a transloading facility at 81200 Kallunki Road in Clatskanie. DEQ has permitted the facility to transload up to 1.8 billion gallons of combined volatile organic liquid product per year.

On Feb. 18, 2020, DEQ received an application from CPBR for a technical modification to its air quality permit to transload renewable diesel. Following the public process, DEQ approved the renewal of this air quality permit in June 2020. The renewal also incorporated updates to Oregon air quality rules and requires performance testing of devices that control volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants. CPBR’s ethanol production operations are regulated under a separate air quality permit (see below).

On Aug. 28, 2020, DEQ received a Request for Reconsideration of the transloading permit from Columbia Riverkeeper, NW Environmental Defense Center and Neighbors for Clean Air. The request asked DEQ to do the following:

  1. Remove the tanks listed in the permit under Operating Scenario 2 as part of the source since CPBR does not own or operate those tanks.
  2. Remove crude oil from the permit.
On Sept. 16, 2020, DEQ granted the first request, removing the tanks listed under Operating Scenario 2 from being considered part of the source. See the full request and the response from DEQ below.

DEQ reconsidered this issue based on the material contained in the application, information received at the public hearing, the petition for reconsideration and additional information provided by CPBR during the reconsideration. On Feb. 5, 2021, DEQ issued the permit without Operating Scenario #2. This permit supersedes and replaces the original air quality permit DEQ issued in June 2020.


Air quality permit for ethanol production

On Aug. 30, 2019, DEQ approved the renewal of the air quality permit (officially known as a Standard Air Contaminant Discharge Permit) for Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery’s Ethanol Plant, located in Clatskanie.
DEQ held a public hearing for the proposed permit on July 24, 2019, and received 276 written comments, testimony from 37 individuals, and 812 names of persons supporting or opposing the proposed permit throughout the public comment period.
The issued permit, including DEQ's responses to comments 

Stormwater construction permit

CPBR is currently registered under the 1200-Z NPDES Industrial Stormwater General Permit which regulates industrial stormwater discharges to surface waters or to conveyance systems that discharge to surface waters of the state. The DEQ file number is 112140 and the permit is in effect until July 31, 2022.

Previous actions

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.

​In March 2014, DEQ issued an enforcement action to CPBR for establishing a new major source of air pollution without a permit. The enforcement action included a civil penalty and order outlining steps for the company to follow to come into compliance. In April 2014, CPBR challenged the allegations in DEQ’s enforcement action and requested a formal contested case hearing to appeal the order.
After a series of settlement talks, DEQ and CPBR were able to agree to terms allowing the case to be settled without going to hearing. On Jan. 30, 2015, the settlement was finalized in a mutual agreement and final order. In the settlement all violations noted in DEQ’s original enforcement action remain as alleged. The order includes a penalty of $102,292.00, with $81,834.00 of the total penalty amount to be used for a supplemental environmental project.
DEQ reviewed and approved the supplemental environmental project proposed by Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery in which all of the $81,834.00 will be provided to Community Action Team, Inc., for use in a woodstove replacement program in Columbia County. Community Action Team is a private non-profit that provides a variety of programs and services to help reduce the incidence and negative effects of poverty. DEQ expects the identified funds will allow Community Action Team to replace 16 to 20 woodstoves with EPA-certified units. This will benefit the health of affected household residents and the general public by reducing related air pollutants. Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery is prohibited from using the supplemental environmental project as a tax deduction or as part of a tax credit.


For questions about the project contact us by email: