At the end of a marathon six hour public hearing, the City of Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission approved a code amendment that paves the way for a proposed propane export terminal on the Columbia River. But we still have shot at stopping this short-sighted project. The Commission’s recommendation will go to the Portland City Council for a final vote. The Commission heard overwhelming testimony opposing the project, proposed by Canada-based Pembina. Neighborhood association leaders, health professionals, faith leaders, environmentalists, and nearby residents explained why the City should not make a special make special accommodation for Pembina by amending the City’s Conservation Habitat Zone to make way for a dangerous propane mega-terminal on the Columbia River. Portland’s local longshore union also opposes to the project. In a 6 to 4 vote, the Commission ultimately came down on the side of propane export.
The Planning and Sustainability Commission’s decision to move forward with Pembina’s propane export plan comes at the same time the city is making decisions on the nationally lauded Climate Action Plan, which includes a provision to ban coal and oil export from the city and state. In addition, Pembina has not received required approvals from the U.S. Coast Guard, which reviews the project’s impact on safety and transportation logistics. Propane supertankers will likely require a 500 yard exclusion zone, giving propane supertankers the upper hand over other industrial and recreational users.
The Planning and Sustainability Commission’s approval of Pembina’s propane terminal is especially disappointing for the residents who live in the 5.3 mile blast zone radius of Pembina’s propane export terminal. The mega-terminal’s impact extends from St. Johns to Sauvie Island, downtown Vancouver, Washington, and east of the Interstate Bridge in Northeast Portland.
Propane decision is now at City Hall!
Pembina's propane code amendment must be adopted by the City Council before the dangerous terminal can proceed. As of April 27, the anticipated timeline for this is: June 10, public hearing; June 17, possible vote. These times are still subject to change by the city and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Columbia Riverkeeper will keep members and supporters updated! Sign up on our email list to make sure you're informed.
Call the Portland City Council Today!
The Portland City Council will have the final say on the Pembina code amendment. With a positive recommendation from the Planning and Sustainability Commission it is critical that the City Council hear from you. We don’t know the timeline for the City Council’s decision and that’s why hearing from you sooner, rather than later, is best. A phone call is more effective than an email. Tell the City Council you do not agree with the Planning and Sustainability Commission’s recommendation on Pembina’s propane export terminal code amendment. Also, share your concerns that Pembina’s conflicts with the Climate Action Plan and public safety.
- Mayor Charlie Hales: 503-823-4120
- Commissioner Nick Fish: 503-823-3589
- Commissioner Amanda Fritz: 503-823-3008
- Commissioner Steve Novick: 503-823-4682
- Commissioner Dan Saltzman: 503-823-4151
Download Columbia Riverkeeper's comments to the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission.