A proposal to transport coal down the Columbia River is one step closer to starting construction. Oregon environmental regulators Tuesday issued three permits for the Morrow Pacific project.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued the first three permits for Ambre Energy’s proposed coal export terminal on the Columbia River. The Oregon DEQ also recommended that the project undergo additional scrutiny to make sure it doesn’t negatively affect the Columbia River ecosystem. The project is one of three coal export proposals in the Northwest. This one would transport coal by rail from Montana and Wyoming to Boardman in eastern Oregon. The coal would then be barged to the lower Columbia River, where it would be transferred to ships bound for Asia. Environmental groups are unhappy the department issued the permits. But they were pleased with the recommendation for a broader look at its ecological impacts. Brett VandenHeuvel is with Columbia Riverkeeper.
"They can look at the impacts on salmon, on human health, and on the water quality of the Columbia as a whole." said VandenHeuvel
A spokeswoman for Ambre Energy says the coal export terminal meets Oregon’s environmental rules and regulations.
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