Zenith Updates

A note from our staff attorney on Zenith’s Oil-by-Rail Facility

What's new with Zenith?

Zenith 2021

Back in January, we joined forces with Willamette Riverkeeper to file suit against Zenith’s oil-by-rail terminal. The reason: Zenith violated the Clean Water Act when it  expanded its operations without a crucial water quality permit from the Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Although our case is still ongoing, DEQ一tipped off to Zenith’s violations by our investigative work一fined the company $23,598 for starting construction without a construction stormwater permit. 

In its penalty order, DEQ scolded Zenith for the “flagrant nature” of its conduct: Zenith had applied for a permit but DEQ told the company its application was insufficient. Instead of fixing the problems, Zenith immediately set to work grading the site without the necessary permit and without taking measures to ensure harmful construction sediment didn’t wash into the neighboring Willamette River. 

Zenith’s untrustworthiness and disregard for the environment are exactly why we are calling on the City of Portland to deny Zenith’s pending application for a Land Use Compatibility Statement. If you haven’t weighed in yet, there’s still time to tell the City to shut down Zenith’s facility in NW Portland


In the face of the climate emergency, Portland has the opportunity to say “NO!” to this dirty oil company and assert our vision for a sustainable city—one that values community and environmental health over profits for fossil fuel companies. Now is our chance to fight for a cleaner future.

If you missed my webinar conversation with Julie Carter from the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission about the Tribes’ experience fighting fossil fuel terminals, as well as the latest on Zenith, you can watch the recording on our website.