Dear Safe Shippers,
Thanks to your letters and support, the Salish Sea and our orcas received some good news this month! Two major projects that could negatively impact the health of our region and its inhabitants were prevented from moving forward. The projects’ proponents are not giving up yet, but it is heartening to know that our state entities are taking seriously the protection of our environment.
The Columbia River
The Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) has temporarily halted its review of Cowlitz County’s decision to grant a permit for the proposed world’s largest fracked gas-to-methanol refinery on the Columbia River, citing an incomplete permit application from the project. Ecology found significant information missing from the project’s Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) and inadequate analysis of the project’s potential effects on Washington’s environment. They are asking for specific details on the proposed mitigation plan and a thorough, comprehensive analysis of the project’s global and in-state greenhouse gas emissions.
Please call or write Department of Ecology Director Maia Bellon and ask that the project be denied: (360) 407-7009; firstname.lastname@example.org
The Salish Sea
Our heroes — Friends of the San Juans, Evergreen Islands, Stand.earth, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, Friends of the Earth, and Puget Soundkeeper Alliance — argued that the state Shorelines Hearings Board must consider whether the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for an expansion project at Marathon Refinery in Anacortes (for manufacturing and exporting xylene) adequately addresses: vessel traffic impacts to the Salish Sea; impacts to the critically endangered Southern Resident orcas; and increases in pollution that cause climate change. The Thurston County Superior Court judge agreed and now our heroes will get their day in court!
Thank you for continuing to take action, Safe Shippers! It truly makes a difference!
Kalama Methanol Refinery
Portland Business Journal: “Kalama methanol plant decision on hold”
Oregon Public Broadcasting: “Washington Ecology Officials Pause Methanol Plant Review, Ask for More Information”
Marathon Refinery Xylene Production
Crosscut: “Canada is protecting orcas from oil spills. Why aren’t we?”
Puget Soundkeeper: “WA Superior Court Requires State to Reconsider Impacts to Orcas”
Skagit Valley Herald: “Environment groups score court win over refinery project”