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STATEWIDE, OR—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality today issued a proposed denial of Zenith Energy’s application to renew the Title V air quality permit for its facility in Northwest Portland. DEQ’s action comes in response to the City of Portland’s determination that the operation is not compatible with the city’s comprehensive land use plan and regulations. Under state law, when a local government makes a negative compatibility determination, state agencies generally may not approve permits for the operation.

DEQ’s denial will take effect in 60 days unless Zenith requests an administrative hearing. Read the full letter here.

The Title V permit for this facility was issued to a predecessor of Zenith on May 16, 2007. Zenith’s predecessor submitted a timely renewal application, which Zenith assumed when it acquired the facility in 2017.

On Jan. 11, 2021, because of changes in the operation of the facility, DEQ determined that it needed an updated land use compatibility statement, or LUCS, from the City of Portland. DEQ set a deadline of May 31, 2021, for Zenith to provide that additional information. Later, in response to a request from Zenith, DEQ extended the deadline until Aug. 31, 2021.

On Aug. 27, 2021, the City of Portland issued a decision denying Zenith’s application for a LUCS for this facility. As noted above, under state law, denial of the LUCS means that DEQ cannot continue processing Zenith’s permit renewal application.

NOTE: Zenith has separately applied for a stormwater construction permit related to changes at the facility for the handling of renewable fuels. That permit process is separate from today’s action on the air quality permit renewal.

About Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality protects human health and the environment by controlling air and water pollution, reducing the impacts of manufactured products and cleaning up contaminated properties. DEQ engages the public in decision-making and helps communities solve problems in ways that are economically and environmentally sustainable.

Media contact: Harry Esteve, 503-951-3856,

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