The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission dealt another blow to the Jordan Cove Energy Project and Pacific Connector Pipeline on Tuesday.
Canadian developer Pembina had sought to waive a required Oregon Department of Environmental Quality permit.
But FERC rejected that argument Tuesday, upholding the DEQ’s decision to deny a permit under the Clean Water Act.
According to the FERC decision, outlined in a meeting summary, the developers never requested certification from the DEQ to begin with.
The decision was greeted as a win by landowners whose properties lie in the proposed pipeline’s path, as well as environmental groups opposed to the project.
“The evidence in the record was clear, FERC had no choice other than to deny Pembina’s request to waive Oregon’s 401 water quality authority,” said Stacey McLaughlin of Myrtle Creek. McLaughlin owns property in the pipeline’s proposed pathway.
“Any approach to seeking approval of its Pacific Connector Pipeline and Jordan Cove Energy Project without proper permits compromises the safety of Oregon’s landowners. Pembina is proving it cannot be trusted — this is not a characteristic seen in a ‘good neighbor,’” McLaughlin said in a press release.
It was the latest in a long roller coaster ride of approvals and denials for the project.
The project involves creating a 36-inch pipeline that would cross 229 miles in four southwestern Oregon counties, including Douglas County, to transport natural gas to a Jordan Cove liquefaction plant in Coos Bay. From there, the gas would be loaded onto ships for export to Asian markets.
Tuesday’s decision was a turnaround for FERC, which had in March 2020 approved a permit for the project.
Dylan Plummer, grassroots organizer with Cascadia Wildlands, said for the past 15 years the proposal has threatened landowners, waterways, forests and imperiled species across southern Oregon.
“Today, we can finally breathe a sigh of relief, and tomorrow we will redouble our efforts to end this project for good,” Plummer said.