WASHINGTON, D.C. — Despite receiving conditional approval from federal regulators early last year, the Jordan Cove LNG project hit another snag on Tuesday stemming from key Oregon environmental permits.
The proposed Jordan Cove LNG project would see a pipeline constructed from the town of Malin in Klamath County to a new export terminal in Coos Bay.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave its blessing to the Jordan Cove project in March of last year. But multiple state permits have eluded Pembina, the Canadian energy company backing Jordan Cove.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality denied a water quality certification for the project in 2019. In early 2020, Jordan Cove withdrew its application for a state removal fill permit after it was denied an extension on the deadline. And in July, the state Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) reversed an earlier approval for dredging around the proposed terminal facility in Coos Bay.
Facing those stiff headwinds on the state level, Jordan Cove petitioned the FERC, arguing that Oregon DEQ had waived its authority to issue Clean Water Act certification for the project.
The FERC ruled on Tuesday that Jordan Cove had failed to request certification, and DEQ “could not have waived its authority to issue certification for a request it never received.”
The federal decision received an immediate outpouring of support from opponents of the project — including southern Oregon Tribes, environmental groups, and landowners who have resisted granting easement to the pipeline.
“The FERC decision is very encouraging. It is certainly our hope that Pembina will give up on this devastating project once and for all,” said Chairman Don Gentry of the Klamath, Modoc, and Yahooskin Tribes.
“Today’s decision confirms Oregon's right to protect its communities and waters from big polluters like the proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas terminal and pipeline,” said Andrew Hawley, attorney at the Western Environmental Law Center. “We have battled this harmful behemoth for decades and defeated it at every turn. With everything we know today about climate change this project must never again rise from the ashes.”
NewsWatch 12 reached out to Pembina for comment on Tuesday's ruling and has not yet received a response.