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Three Southern Oregon groups sue feds over approval of Jordan Cove LNG project

A coalition of environmental advocacy organizations is suing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for its approval of the Jordan Cove pipeline and terminal.

Posted: May 27, 2020 3:38 PM
Updated: May 28, 2020 6:32 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A coalition of environmental groups based in southern Oregon have filed a lawsuit challenging the federal commission that approved a natural gas pipeline that had not received several key permits from Oregon state agencies.

Now two other groups have also filed a lawsuit, Southern Oregon homeowners and tribes. 

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave its blessing for the Jordan Cove LNG project in March. The proposal is for a 229-mile pipeline that would stretch from Malin in Klamath County to an export terminal in Coos Bay.

Jordan Cove had not yet received several vital permits from Oregon state agencies prior to the FERC decision.

“Even though Jordan Cove failed to secure even one necessary state permit, that could change, and the project still requires federal approval,” said Susan Jane Brown, attorney with the Western Environmental Law Center. “Federal approval is the keystone to the Jordan Cove Project, and because of the project’s glaring climate, clean water, and other ecological impacts, we want to knock out that flawed federal approval.”

On Wednesday, nearly a dozen environmental organizations filed the lawsuit against FERC at the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. They are represented by attorneys from the Sierra Club and Western Environmental Law Center. According to the coalition, a group of Oregon landowners impacted by the project's eminent domain proceedings also filed suit last week.

“FERC should not have burdened Oregon’s environment, communities, and landowners by approving a pipeline that nobody needs and that Oregonians don’t want,” Nathan Matthews, senior attorney with the Sierra Club. “Jordan Cove has failed to obtain key permits from the state of Oregon because it is clearly not in the public interest. Had FERC done the full analysis the law requires, they would have come to the same conclusion.

The groups plan to argue that the FERC failed to consider critical information about the proposed facility, and that it is not in the public interest.

NewsWatch 12 did reach out to FERC for comment on Thursday morning. It responded by saying it is their policy not to comment on matters that are in litigation.

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