Zenith Energy Terminal Holdings, LLC is a fuel products transloading facility. The company accepts crude oil, diesel, renewable fuels and other fuel products from one mode of transportation, like railcars, and passes them along to another, such as marine vessels. In the interim, fuel products are stored at the facility in above-ground tanks. Zenith Energy is located at 5501 NW Front Avenue in northwest Portland.
On Nov. 21, 2022, DEQ received a copy of Zenith's air quality permit application, officially called an air contaminant discharge permit. The City of Portland's approved land use compatibility statement, or LUCS, required Zenith to get this type of permit rather than updating its existing Title V air quality permit. The air contaminant discharge permit has lower pollution limits than the Title V air quality permit. DEQ is currently reviewing this application for completeness.
On Oct. 3, 2022, DEQ received an amended Title V permit renewal application from Zenith that included a LUCS from the City of Portland. Zenith updated that application on Oct. 14, 2022. The LUCS includes conditions for Zenith to cease all transloading of crude oil by 2027, lower the plant site emission limit for volatile organic compounds, cease operation of the asphalt refinery, require removal of thirty storage tanks and allow new storage tank construction only if related to renewable fuels and non-fuel projects, among other conditions.
DEQ reviewed Zenith's amended Title V permit application and determined that the application was consistent with the LUCS. On Oct. 19, 2022, DEQ sent its determination
to Zenith and withdrew its proposed order
denying renewal of the Title V permit.
The LUCS also required Zenith to apply for an air contaminant discharge permit by March 31, 2023, and the agency received a copy as of Nov. 21, 2022.
Once DEQ determines the application is complete, DEQ will draft an air quality permit in compliance with environmental regulations, and will develop a public engagement process including sharing the public notice, providing opportunities to comment and public hearings to ensure all interested parties have an opportunity to provide input on any proposed draft permit.
To stay up to date on the permitting process, check this webpage or subscribe to DEQ's emails on air quality permits through GovDelivery. To get emails, sign in or sign up and then check the box under the 'Permits' heading called 'Air quality permits.'
Stormwater constructionOn Oct. 4, 2021, DEQ issued stormwater construction permit coverage to Zenith related to changes at the facility for the handling of renewable fuels. This permit coverage is under the general 1200-C Construction Stormwater General Permit. There are no special conditions for individual facilities, and they are not issued individual permits.
DEQ held a public hearing for this permit on Aug. 19, 2021, following the general public engagement meeting. After reviewing public comment, DEQ has determined Zenith Energy meets the criteria for stormwater construction permit coverage.
Frequently asked questions
No, Zenith will only be issued one air quality permit. Currently, Zenith is operating under a Title V air quality permit. The City of Portland land use compatibility statement requires Zenith to apply for a different type of air quality permit, called an air contaminant discharge permit, which has lower emission limits.
Zenith is currently operating under a Title V air quality permit that was issued in 2007. Zenith may continue operating in compliance with the Title V permit if it has submitted a timely and complete Title V renewal application. Zenith has met that requirement. Zenith now has until March 31, 2023 to submit an application for an air contaminant discharge permit, which has lower pollution limits. DEQ will wait until that date or when Zenith submits its application to inform DEQ’s future permitting decision.
DEQ proposed to deny renewal of the Title V permit based on the absence of an updated land use compatibility statement, which would have meant that Zenith did not have a complete application submitted to DEQ. Zenith appealed that decision, which meant the denial was not final until the appeal could be resolved. Following the City of Portland’s recent issuance of the land use compatibility statement and DEQ’s review of Zenith’s application information, Zenith now has a complete application and DEQ has withdrawn its proposed denial of the Title V permit, terminating Zenith’s appeal of that decision.
Zenith is operating in compliance with its existing Title V permit. Per Oregon law, while Zenith has a complete, timely application in, it may operate consistent with its existing permit until DEQ makes a permitting decision.