• BREAKING: Port of Vancouver Holds Oil Terminal Lease Amendment Public Hearing

    Crude Oil TrainsAs we have reported, this August 1st marks the deadline for the Port of Vancouver to renew the lease for the Tesoro Savage Oil Terminal.

    Tesoro Savage has approached the Port with a proposed 2-year extension to renew the lease prior to the August 1 deadline. The Port’s staff, although still on record supporting the Tesoro project, recommends against the lease renewal, citing growing concerns with the terminal moving forward.

    Port Commissioners will vote on the lease renewal on Friday April 15th and are holding a public hearing next Tuesday at Clark College to hear public testimony in advance of their vote on the lease renewal.

    A quite different slate of Port Commissioners will vote this time compared to those on the commission in 2013 when the lease was first approved after massive public opposition.  With the addition of Eric LaBrant last year, a staunch opponent to the terminal, the three Port Commissioners are now divided in their support.  Commissioner Brian Wolfe is also now voicing his own concerns with the Tesoro project.

    From the Columbian:

    Wolfe, who has become the three-member commission’s swing vote on the oil terminal lease changes, said he won’t make up his mind on his vote until after Tuesday’s daylong public hearing at Clark College’s Gaiser Hall. The commission expects to vote on the request on April 15.

    “My position today is I’m still going to listen to everybody next week and try to do at the end of the week what’s best for the Port of Vancouver,” said Wolfe, who backed the initial lease agreement.

    Eric LaBrant was not a member when the commission unanimously approved the original lease in 2013. But he won his seat on an anti-terminal platform, easily beating a staunch terminal supporter. Commissioner Jerry Oliver remains a supporter of the terminal.

    Rosemere Neighborhood Association encourages everyone to attend the Public Hearing this coming Tuesday; voice your opposition to the terminal; and urge the Port Commissioners to not only reject the lease renewal proposed by Tesoro Savage, but to cancel the lease outright.

    Read the Agenda for the Port’s April 12 Meeting, including the full Lease Amendment Proposal between the Port of Vancouver Tesoro Savage here: Agenda-and-documents-for-April-12-2016-Commission-Meeting.pdf

    Here are the Public Hearing details:

    Oil Terminal Lease Amendment Public Hearing:

    •  Tuesday, 9:30 AM to 9:00 PM, Doors open 8:00 AM. Public testimony will begin after the Port’s regular business meeting, with speakers chosen by lottery.
    • Gaiser Hall, Clark College, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver

    Port Commission decision:

    • Friday, 1 p.m. April 15, the commissioners will make a decision on the lease amendment. No public comment will be taken.

     

     

     

  • Update: New Hurdles for Proposed Oil Terminal

    WA State Supreme Court
    Our friends at Columbia Riverkeeper, Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC), and Sierra Club learned this week that the Washington State Supreme Court will review the previous lower court rulings in their lawsuit  challenging the Port of Vancouver’s closed-door meetings in 2013 during the port’s initial consideration of the Tesoro Savage Oil Terminal lease.

    If they are successful, and win at the Supreme Court level, the potential result could be the court voiding the current lease agreement.

    From the Columbian:

    “If we were to prevail at the Supreme Court, we believe the remedy the court should give us is voiding the lease and asking the Port of Vancouver to make a new decision on the lease in light of the information in a final environmental impact statement,” said attorney Miles Johnson with Columbia Riverkeeper.

    That is not the only challenge facing the Port’s lease agreement. As the deadline looms for the Port to confirm the terminal lease this summer on August 1st, Port Commissioner Brian Wolfe is re-thinking his support for the project:

    Late Thursday, Commissioner Brian Wolfe told The Columbian that he hadn’t made up his mind about how he might cast another vote.

    “Am I prepared to make a decision on it? No,” Wolfe said. “I honestly don’t know; there are so many variables to consider.”

    Wolfe’s uncertainty turns what was a 3-0 decision nearly three years ago into a big maybe.

    “It was and will remain a really hard decision between economic development and the environment, in my mind,” Wolfe said.

    The other two Port Commissioners are divided; Jerry Oliver is expected to re-affirm his support for the terminal, and Eric Labrant,  the newest commissioner, is a longtime opponent to the project, so Wolfe’s vote could sway the lease vote this summer.

    And just this past week, local elected officials have teamed up to submit op-ed pieces to two major regional newspapers slamming the proposed Tesoro Savage Oil Terminal.

    Aisha Topper, Vancouver City Councilmember, and Amanda Fritz who serves on Portland City Council penned a letter to Washington Governor Inslee in The Oregonian on February 25 titled Washington governor must save Portland, Vancouver from giant oil terminal (OPINION). It begins by stating the two cities “stand together in opposing the largest proposed oil terminal in North America.”

    Vancouver Councilmember Bart Hanson, who has led the city’s opposition to the terminal, teamed up in a letter with Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart submitted to February 27 Spokesman-Review Vancouver oil terminal is a dangerous plan.”

    Their messages could not be clearer – they urge Washington State Governor Inslee to stand up for citizens and deny the Tesoro Savage Oil Terminal.

     

  • EFSEC Receives Record Number of Comments on Oil Terminal Proposal

    No OilFollowing record breaking attendance at open hearings in Vancouver and Spokane, EFSEC, Washington State’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, is now tasked with sifting through the volume of public input regarding the proposed Tesoro Savage Oil Terminal at the Port of Vancouver.  A record number of public comments – more than 250,000 – were submitted to EFSEC during the DEIS public comment period that ended January 22.

    Opposition to the terminal has been unprecedented, from such diverse organizations as Vancouver City Council, City of Portland, Multnomah County Commissioners, Vancouver Firefighters Union IAFF Local 452, ILWU Local 4, Columbia Waterfront LLC, Columbia River Inter-tribal Fish Commission, the sport fishing community, and the environmental community.

    Vancouver City Council voted to extend its moratorium on crude oil-handling facilities for another six months, their third extension in two years. Vancouver’s Comments on Draft EIS called the DEIS “wholly indadequate” and it’s “risk analysis is fatally flawed.”

    Even the Washington Attorney General called out EFSEC’s DEIS “…two significant deficiencies in the DEIS: (1) a flawed statistical analysis of train-derailment risk, and (2) insufficient analysis of the effort and investment required to bring first responders along the crude-oil-train route contemplated by the Tesoro-Savage project to a proper state of preparedness.”

    Rosemere Neighborhood Association has been vocal in its opposition to the terminal. The environmental risks posed by the terminal as outlined in the DEIS are too great and create excessive and unnecessary dangers to our communities and our precious water resources. RNA public commentary urges EFSEC members do everything in their power to deny the project and recommend Governor Inslee reject the Tesoro-Savage oil terminal.

    Read the full text of Rosemere Neighborhood Association Oil Terminal DEIS comments here.

    EFSEC has announced there will be a series of “adjudication hearings” this June, where the various stakeholders in the terminal will present testimony in front of the EFSEC council. The hearings will start Monday June 27 and will be held Mondays through Thursdays through July 29 in Vancouver and Olympia. Testimony at the hearings will include witness testimony and exhibits, will be open to the public and available electronically.

    To Learn more:

    EFSEC website – Tesoro Savage Vancouver Energy Project

    For more information about the dangers of oil by rail, and to review additional Public Comments opposing Tesoro Savage oil terminal and oil by rail:

    City of Vancouver Comments on Draft EIS

    Washington State Attorney General Comments on Tesoro Savage Vancouver Energy Project DEIS

    Multnomah County RESOLUTION NO. 2016-001 Opposing Oil Shipment by Rail

    Vancouver 101 Small Businesses against Big Oil terminal

    The Sightline Institute

    Stand Up To Oil

  • EFSEC Scoping Hearing for Tesoro Savage Crude Oil Project

    Crude Oil Trains

    As has been reported this week, the Port of Vancouver held a second vote and again unanimously approved the proposed Tesoro/Savage Crude Oil Terminal, the largest such facility in the Pacific Northwest.

    The Tesoro/Savage project now faces a yearlong examination by the Washington State Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (or EFSEC). EFSEC will make a recommendation to Washington Governor Inslee on the project and, then, the Governor will make the final decision to deny or approve the terminal.

    There are 2 important EFSEC meetings regarding the proposed Crude Oil Terminal coming up this week.

    It is important for everyone to attend these meetings and voice their opposition to the Tesoro Savage Terminal.

    Tuesday, October 29 EFSEC Scoping Hearing for Tesoro Savage Project

    The purpose of this hearing is for the public to ask EFSEC to review and to take into account the total pollution load to the environment from start to finish.
    When: Tuesday, October 29 – 6:00 – 9:00 PM
    Where: Clark College, Gaiser Student Center (1933 Fort Vancouver Way)

    There will also be a rally outside before the meeting at 5:00 PM

    ALSO:

    The night before – Monday, October 28 – EFSEC Public Information Hearing at 6:00 PM.

    What: EFSEC Public Information Hearing
    When: Monday, October 28 – 6:00PM
    Where: Clark College, Gaiser Student Center (1933 Fort Vancouver Way)

    Columbia Riverkeeper has a petition on their website for those who wish to sign and send a message to Governor Inslee and EFSEC to “Deny the Proposed Tesoro Savage Pipeline-on-Wheels Project”. You can find the petition here: Deny the Proposed Tesoro Savage Pipeline-on-Wheels Project

  • Communities’ Letter on EPA’s Final Vapor Intrusion Guidance

    Vapor Intrusion: image source epa

    Vapor Intrusion: image source epa

    On July 26, 2012, a letter was sent to EPA’s Richard Kapuscinski from environmental organizations and citizens groups from all over the country – including Rosemere Neighborhood Association – concerned about EPA’s pending Final Vapor Intrusion Guidance.

    The letter begins:

    We, the undersigned are concerned that pressure from polluters, chemical producers, and property owners may weaken elements of EPA’s pending Vapor Intrusion Guidance, and we urge EPA to adopt an investigatory approach that is truly protective of Americans exposed to highly toxic vapors in their homes, schools, workplaces, and other buildings.

    On July 6, 2012, Inside EPA, reported:
    Industry is criticizing EPA’s approach to calculating the potential for subsurface contamination to migrate to indoor air, raising concerns over a technical document expected to be a component of the agency’s final vapor intrusion guidance and over a Region III proposal to offer government-funded mitigation for vapor intrusion at homes near a Superfund site in Pennsylvania.
    Industry argues the so-called attenuation factors in the EPA documents are unnecessarily conservative and flawed because of incorrect assumptions of the rate at which contamination flows into residences.

    The determination whether vapor intrusion poses a health threat at any existing building should not be based solely upon models and predictions. Models cannot account for changes in operating conditions, occupancy, building modifications, or structural changes such as adding utility lines that penetrate floors or settling that cracks slabs. One test is worth 1000 expert opinions. Decisions should be based upon multiple lines of evidence, including indoor air testing, subslab soil-gas sampling, and outdoor air monitoring.

    To read the entire letter: Communities’ Letter on EPA’s Final Vapor Intrusion Guidance

  • Power Past Coal Campaign – RNA letter to Vancouver City Council

    Train unloading coal at Millennium terminal in June 2011

    Train unloading coal at Millennium terminal in June 2011

    On June 19, 2012, Rosemere Neighborhood Association submitted a letter to Vancouver Mayor, City Council and City Managers asking the City of Vancouver to join in the efforts by Governor Kitzhaber and Senator Patty Murray to call for a regional Environmental Impact Statement regarding the doubling of international coal exports through the Pacific Northwest. Seven mega coal terminals are proposed to ship 157 million tons of coal annually to China. The coal trains will flow daily through Vancouver, spewing toxic residue with each train.

    Excerpted from the letter, which was presented at Vancouver City Council meeting, Monday, June 25, 2012:

    Facing the slowing of U.S. coal fired power plants, coal companies like Massey and Arch Coal are looking to harvest and ship an additional 157 million tons of coal per year, sending 30 – 60 trains per day through the Columbia River Gorge via Portland and Vancouver, where it is intended to be shipped to Asia. Each and every car from a coal train can unleash 500 pounds of coal dust. The coal trains proposed to run through Portland and Vancouver will be 75 miles long, each day making the Pacific Northwest the largest coal chute in the nation, originating in Montana’s Powder Ridge Basin. There are various international coal export terminals proposed for Oregon and Washington, and should they proceed unabated, the health and environmental impacts to our region and our way life will be substantial.

    To view the letter in its entirety: Coal to City Council

  • Power Past Coal Rally, Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland Oregon

    Power Past Coal Rally 5-7-12

    Power Past Coal Rally, Portland, OR 5-7-12

    The Power Past Coal Rally began at noon on a bright, sunny, spring day with a chant from various members of the Riverkeeper Alliance: “Clean Coal is a Dirty Lie!”

    Power Past Coal Rally At Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square 5-7-12

    Power Past Coal Rally At Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square 5-7-12

    Columbia Riverkeeper, Sierra Club, Climate Solutions and Greenpeace sponsored the Power Past Coal event with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Environmental Attorney and Chairman of the Waterkeeper Alliance, as the featured speaker. Kennedy, who has been working against coal for more than 30 years, has been dubbed “Hero of the Planet” by Time Magazine.

    Facing the slowing of U.S. coal fired power plants, coal companies like Massey and Arch Coal are looking to harvest and ship 150 million tons of coal per year, sending 30 -50 trains per day through the Columbia River Gorge via Portland and Vancouver Neighborhoods, where it is intended to be shipped to China. Each car from a coal train can unleash 500 pounds of coal dust. The coal trains proposed to run through Portland and Vancouver will be 75 miles long each day making the Pacific Northwest the largest coal chute in the nation, originating in Montana’s Powder Ridge Basin.

    Toxins emanating from the transport and burning of coal include mercury, arsenic, lead, sulphur dioxide, and ozone among 50 known contaminants. Health impacts, especially for young children, include mental retardation, impacts to speech and gait, lung and liver damage, autism and blindness. Estimates show that 300,000 to 600,000 children are exposed to high levels of mercury each year stemming from the coal industry. Coal emissions also exacerbate asthma, emphysema, can cause cancer, and contaminate rivers and fish, and can also reduce rainfall and snow pack caused by climate change. Just last week, Portland General Electric opposed the placement of a coal terminal near its power plant because dirty coal would hamper plant operations, and Oregon’s Governor Kitzhaber requested a regional Environmental Impact Study to identify public health and environmental impacts expected from seven proposed coal terminals in Oregon and Washington State. [Read More...]

  • Community Representatives Sign Letter to EPA & DOD Urging Inclusive Military Cleanup Discussions

    Representatives from community and environmental groups from across the United States and Puerto Rico have signed a letter to Dr. Dorothy Robyn, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense and Mathy Stanislaus, Environmental Protection Agency Assistant Administrator, urging more comprehensive transparent and inclusive discussions on military cleanup regulatory requirements.

    We are representatives of communities that host active, closing, and former military facilities. We ask that we, as well as state and tribal regulatory agencies, be brought into this important conversation.
    We are sympathetic to the desire to have a consistent set of regulatory requirements from U.S. EPA or other regulatory agencies. However, twenty-six years after the establishment of the Defense Environmental Restoration Program, we expect some natural evolution in cleanup regulation as new problems are discovered and the scientific knowledge of the impacts of pollutants changes.

    We support Congressman Sam Farr’s suggestion that a forum be created in which regulators, the military components, and affected communities seek common ground to achieve faster, more efficient, and more protective cleanups.

    The letter dated April 14, 2012, was signed by Rosemere Neighborhood Association along with representatives of environmental and community groups, including Earth Island Institute, Arc Ecology, United Tribe of Shawnee Indians, and representatives of the Restoration Advisory Boards of former Defense sites in a dozen states.

    To view the letter please click here: Communities Letter on Military Cleanup

  • Petition to stop licensing of Nuclear Reactor at Hanford Nuclear Facility

    Hanford dumping ground photo credit: HOANW

    Hanford dumping ground Photo credit: HOANW

    Energy Northwest (formerly WPPSS) runs the region’s sole commercial nuclear reactor, Hanford Nuclear Facility, located along the Columbia River on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Energy Northwest is owned and run by Washington’s publicly owned utilities. These include Clark Public Utilities in Clark County, as well as Seattle City Light, Snohomish PUD, and Tacoma City Light.

    The Federal Government is attempting to make Hanford a national nuclear waste dump, despite the actions of the Washington citizens to prevent more nuclear waste from being shipped there. In recent months, the reactor had numerous safety violations. As the Seattle Times reported (March, 2011), Energy Northwest officials have been moving to be the first commercial reactor in the US to use the same highly dangerous Plutonium fuel which was released to the environment during the Fukushima Reactor earthquake and tsunami crisis, causing catastrophic damage to a huge populated area of Japan and the ocean – without public disclosure of risks or costs.

    Clark Public Utilities representatives have not objected to use of Plutonium fuel, and supported relicensing the reactor to run 20 more years until the year 2043 – without any public discussion near Clark PUD.

    You can voice your opinion.

    Clark County residents: Click on the link below to sign a petition (managed by Heart of America Northwest, www.hoanw.org) to stop the licensing of the nuclear reactor operating at the Hanford facility, and demand the federal government pursue clean energy instead:

    Petition: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/cgsclark/

  • MEDIA RELEASE: Community Groups Give Notice of Clean Water Act Suit to Planned Coal Export Terminal on Columbia River

    Train unloading coal at Millennium terminal in June 2011

    Train unloading coal at Millennium terminal in June 2011

    MEDIA RELEASE
    –FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –

    August 9, 2011

    CONTACTS:
    Gayle Kiser, LCSC
    (360) 749-7029
    Dvija Bertish, Rosemere
    (360) 281-4747

    Longview, WA – Community groups from Longview and Vancouver Washington have filed formal notices of suit for violations of the federal Clean Water Act against the corporation planning to export coal from Longview to China. The sixty-day notice of suit is a legal prerequisite to filing the Clean Water Act suit that will be filed in the Federal District court in Tacoma sixty days from today. The suit targets the fact that Millennium Bulk Terminals and its parent company Ambre Energy are currently importing, storing and exporting coal to their Longview facility absent any permits that allow for such activities under the Clean Water Act.

    For complete Press Release please click here: MEDIA RELEASE_8-9-2011

    To view complete 60 Day Notice please click here: 8-9-11_FINAL_ 60_DAY_ Ambre_ Energy

    More about this story from The Daily News Online:  Groups sue Millennium over alleged Clean Water Act violations in Longview

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