NEXT Renewable Fuels, Inc. is proposing to construct a renewable diesel, renewable naphtha, and renewable jet fuel manufacturing facility at the Port of Columbia County's Port Westward Industrial Park in Clatskanie, located in the northwestern corner of Oregon.
The proposed facility will receive and process recycled organic materials and raw oil feedstocks including used cooking oil, vegetable oils and animal fats to produce renewable fuel products that work just like their petroleum-based equivalents. NEXT expects to produce 37,500 barrels (1.58 million gallons) per day at start-up, and anticipate growing to more than 50,000 barrels (2.1 million gallons) per day at full capacity. Renewable fuel products will be shipped offsite via pipelines, trucks, and railcars, pending market conditions.
Currently in the permit application review phase, the facility is scheduled to open in 2024.
DEQ held a public engagement session from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 7, 2021, regarding environmental permits required in order for NEXT to construct and operate their facility. The purpose of this meeting was to provide information about each permit that is required and to get feedback from the community about what they would like the agency to take into consideration as it begins working on each of these permits. DEQ's permit program intersects include air quality, stormwater, and wastewater.
Additional materials will be posted here as they become available.
Air quality permit
On Dec. 17, 2020 DEQ received an application from NEXT Renewables for a new air quality permit, officially called a Standard Air Contamination Discharge Permit. The air quality permit includes a health-based risk assessment as required by Cleaner Air Oregon, DEQ’s air toxic permitting program. All new facilities, including NEXT, are required to obtain an air quality permit and complete a Cleaner Air Oregon risk assessment to operate in the State of Oregon.
Water quality permits
401 Water Quality Certification Current Status:
NEXT Renewables submitted a second pre-filing meeting request on Sept. 2, 2021. They will be able to submit a new request for certification on or after Oct. 2, 2021. Until a new request for certification is submitted and reviewed by DEQ, the water quality certification review is technically inactive.
DEQ received NEXT’s initial valid request for certification on Jan. 15, 2021. On April 8, 2021, DEQ submitted initial review questions to NEXT. On July 30, 2021 DEQ received a revised application. Due to insufficient information and receipt of a new submittal which necessitated a new request for certification, DEQ issued a denial without prejudice decision on Sept. 1, 2021
DEQ’s Water Quality Certification program
reviews projects that require a federal permit or license and may result in water quality impacts. This project required a federal Section 404 Permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and state authority for review is granted under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act.
The 2020 EPA 401 Rule now requires applicants submit a pre-filing meeting request to the certifying authority (in this case, DEQ) in addition to a request for certification. The pre-filing meeting request must be submitted at least 30-days prior to submitting a request for certification.
NEXT will also be submitting permit applications for two types of stormwater permits. First, a construction stormwater discharge general permit, which regulates stormwater runoff from construction activities. Second, an industrial stormwater discharge general permit, which regulates long-term stormwater management at individual facilities.
DEQ does not expect to receive a wastewater permit application from NEXT, as they will be seeking permission to discharge wastewater into the Port’s wastewater system. The Port of Columbia County is authorized to treat and discharge wastewater under its wastewater permit, officially known as a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit.