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Jordan Cove Energy Project: Current Actions

Note: January 2020
DEQ has not received any complete permit applications. DEQ denied without prejudice the 401 Water Quality Certification on May 6, 2019. Jordan Cove may submit a new 401 Water Quality Certification application in early 2020. 
Jordan Cove Energy Project L.P. proposes to construct a liquefied natural gas export facility on 500 acres of the North Spit across the Coos Bay from the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport. The approximately 229-mile, 36-inch diameter pipeline’s capacity would be up to one billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.

Other elements of the project include construction of a marine terminal, widening of the navigation channel at four turns, a regional emergency response center, temporary workforce housing, and road and highway improvements. Roughly 100 acres will be set aside to offset habitat impacted by the project at the former Kentuck golf course in Coos County.

As proposed, the liquefied natural gas facility would begin operating mid-2020s. DEQ must evaluate the proposed project to ensure it complies with state and federal environmental laws during and after construction.
Permits information, applications and program documentation

 2019 updates

Since June 2019, DEQ has been meeting with Jordan Cove about the new 401 Water Quality Certification Application. Some of the topics we discussed include water body crossings pre- and post-construction evaluations, thermal mitigation plans, post construction stormwater plans, geohazards/geotechnical evaluations, horizontal directional drilling evaluation, roads construction and maintenance of pipeline corridor, dredge spoil placement, and land use compatibility statements from counties and cities. ​

​​​​DEQ issues a decision on a water quality certification for the Jordan Cove project

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued a decision on Jordan Cove’s application for a Section 401 Water Quality Certification.  The certification is required for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to issue permits for the project.

DEQ’s decision is to deny the requested certification at this time.  However, DEQ’s action is being made “without prejudice.”  This means that the applicant may reapply for the certification, and submit additional information that could result in a different decision.

If Jordan Cove resubmits an application along with information addressing DEQ’s concerns, DEQ will work to keep the timing of its review in line with the overall federal schedule for the project, but this will depend on the applicant submitting the requested information in a timely manner.

DEQ had expected to make its decision on certification in September of this year.  However, DEQ accelerated the schedule and is making a decision now in order to assure that it does not unintentionally waive Oregon’s authority to review the water quality impacts of the proposed project. The Corps initially instructed DEQ to complete its review by May 7, 2019.  However, last fall the Corps extended that date to Sept. 24, 2019 following the applicant’s withdrawal and resubmittal of its application.  Recent federal court and agency decisions have raised significant questions about whether this extension was valid. As a result, DEQ is making a decision by the date initially provided by the Corps – May 7, 2019.

DEQ is denying the requested water quality certification at this time because there is insufficient information to demonstrate compliance with water quality standards, and because the available information shows that some standards are more likely than not to be violated. Through further analysis, and possibly through project changes and mitigation, the applicant may be able to show the standards for certification will be met, but the current record does not allow DEQ to reach that conclusion today. 

DEQ’s specific concerns, among others, include:
  • Expected effects of the construction and operation of the proposed pipeline and associated road and work areas on water temperature and sediment in streams and wetlands
  • The risk of release of drilling materials from the construction of the proposed crossing of the Coos Bay estuary
DEQ requested additional information from Jordan Cove in September 2018, December 2018 and March 2019 relevant to the project’s effect on water quality. Jordan Cove has provided some, but not all, of the information requested.

​DEQ recently submitted two information requests to Jordan Cove on its 401 Water Quality Certification application. The requests seek information about drilling under rivers or trenching through rivers along the pipeline route and about land use. DEQ has also asked Jordan Cove to provide a timeline for when it can fulfill the requests.
Jordan Cove submitted several permit applications in early 2019:
  • National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Stormwater application for the proposed Pacific Connector Pipeline
  • Water Pollution Control Facility application for hydrostatic water testing of the proposed pipeline
  • National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Wastewater application for the proposed liquid natural gas facility
DEQ is reviewing whether Jordan Cove and the Pacific Connector Pipeline have submitted all required information for each application.
Jordan Cove also submitted a dewatering plan for a pilot study aimed at reducing the liquid in the landfill’s Cell 3 on the South Dune site on the North Spit of Coos Bay. DEQ has approved the dewatering plan for the site, which was formerly a mill.

Other authorizations

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Nov. 15, 2019, released a final environmental impact statement for the Jordan Cove project. The final environmental impact statement can be found on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission website under Jordan Cove Energy Project LP, docket number CP17-495-000, and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline LP, docket number CP17-494-000. DEQ uses the final environmental impact statement, which evaluates potential environmental effects, to identify project elements that should be found in a 401 Water Quality Certification application.


For more information about DEQ's role in the proposed Jordan Cove Energy Project, call Mary Camarata, Project Coordinator, at 541-687-7435.
Members of the media should contact Dylan Darling at 541-600-6119