Environmental Groups Sue To Overturn Vancouver Oil Terminal Lease

Oct 3, 2013

Three environmental groups are suing the Port of Vancouver to overturn the approval of a lease for a proposed oil terminal.

Jerry Oliver, center, is the president of the Port of Vancouver Commission
Credit Cassandra Profita

The Tesoro-Savage terminal would transport up to 380,000 barrels of oil through the Port of Vancouver. The Port Commission approved a lease for the project in July.   The night before that vote, the board held a public hearing followed by a closed-door executive session. Here's what Port Commission President Jerry Oliver told the audience that night:

Oliver: "This board will recess into executive session for a minimum of 15 minutes to discuss what we've heard here this evening."

Columbia Riverkeeper, the Sierra Club and the Northwest Environmental Defense Center say that executive session was illegal.  The board can only hold executive sessions for certain reasons. Discussing public comments isn't one of them. The Port says it was appropriate to hold the executive session because it was discussing real estate.

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