MEDFORD, Ore. -- Ramada Hotel and Conference Center staff and the Medford Police Department are preparing for Wednesday's Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hearing on the Jordan Cove LNG pipeline project. Both expect to see large crowds of people who want their voices heard.
Some say this pipeline will be great for local economies and bring jobs. Others are concerned about what it could do to the environment.
Ramada staff will have private security directing traffic to the convention center. The Medford Police Department is also on alert.
"We will have a presence there," said Lt. DJ Graham. "We will have officers on scene both inside and outside the facility monitoring what is going on to help ensure that participants have a right to peaceful demonstration and the right to express themselves."
Officers have been monitoring the other hearings in Coos Bay and Myrtle Creek to gauge how many people will be at the Ramada Conference Center on Biddle Road in Medford. They've been talking to other law enforcement in those areas to see how they're handling the large amounts of people.
"We're looking at social media. We've talked to participants. There could be anywhere from 200 to 600 people here tomorrow so there's really a wide range of what the participation could look like. We're prepared for just a moderate response but we're prepared to address a large one as well," added Lt. Graham.
Based on turn-out at the other hearings, hundreds of people could begin lining up as early as tomorrow morning. There is only a limited number of opportunities to get in with a FERC representative to share an opinion.
Ramada staff's biggest concern is parking. Since it is also a hotel, staff will be reserving spots for guests currently staying at the hotel and checking in. If anyone is planning to attend the hearing, Ramada staff recommends to park somewhere else and walk over to the convention center.
The FERC hearing is from 1pm-8pm at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center. Cars enter through the Sherm's Food 4 Less parking lot next door.
Ramada Hotel and Conference Center
2250 Biddle Road
Medford, OR 97504
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