NEXT Renewable Fuels, Inc., referred to as NEXT, 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.
The proposed facility plans to 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 1.58 million gallons per day at start-up, and anticipates growing to more than 2.1 million gallons per day at full capacity. Renewable fuel products will be shipped offsite via pipelines, trucks, and railcars, pending market conditions. The facility is planning to open in 2024.
There are currently no scheduled public engagement events related to this facility. DEQ will update this page as events are scheduled.
In September 2021, DEQ held a public information session that reviewed all environmental permits required for NEXT to construct and operate its facility. DEQ also asked for input from attendees on what the agency should consider as they began working on these permits.
Air quality permit
DEQ issued NEXT's air quality permit on Aug. 30, 2022. This permit regulates air emissions from the renewable fuel facility. This decision followed a 60-day public comment period and public hearing.
On Nov. 6, 2022, the Land Use Board of Appeals overturned Columbia County's to expand the rail yard next to the fuel facility. On Dec. 16, 2022, NEXT submitted an updated, approved LUCS
that no longer includes the rail facility. This is now the official LUCS for the air quality permit.
Other DEQ permits and certifications are required before NEXT can begin any sort of construction activities. This air quality permit is for regulating emissions from facility operations once the facility is built.
Q. Does DEQ factor in the history of the company in its permitting decisions?
A. DEQ can evaluate the facility's history in Oregon. In this case, NEXT Renewable Fuels has no prior record in Oregon, so DEQ can only evaluate what is being proposed in the permit application. DEQ expects the company to provide truthful and accurate information for analysis. DEQ evaluates the application to determine whether the proposed facility can operate in compliance with air quality and Cleaner Air Oregon requirements that protect public health.
Q. What happens if NEXT violates its air quality permit standards?
A. Once DEQ issues a permit for a facility, that permit is legally binding. If there is a violation of any permit condition, DEQ inspectors will use the enforcement guidance to determine the appropriate response. The response can range from a warning letter to formal enforcement, which may include corrective actions and a fine.
Q. Why didn't DEQ revoke NEXT's air quality permit before the county re-approved the land use compatibility statement?
A. DEQ determined, in consultation with DOJ, that the agency's next step would have been to suspend the air quality permit and give NEXT Renewable Fuels 30 days to obtain an updated LUCS. However, NEXT had independently requested an updated LUCS from Columbia County and submitted it to DEQ on Friday, Dec. 16, 2022. DEQ determined this LUCS is adequate.
NEXT Renewable Fuels previously requested a 401 water quality certification as part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 404 permitting process. The water quality certification is to regulate projects happening in wetlands. DEQ denied this certification without prejudice due to insufficient information to evaluate the permit application. This certification is required for the project to move forward.
NEXT Renewable Fuels will also need to submit applications for a construction stormwater discharge general permit, which regulates how the facility manages its stormwater during construction of the facility. The facility also is applying for an industrial stormwater discharge general permit, which regulates how the facility manages its stormwater while operating.