Zenith’s Bad Plan

Zenith Energy’s plan to expand operations brings new threats to public health and safety, and the environment.

Zenith’s Planned Expansion Brings New Threats 

Spring is in the air, and if Zenith Energy gets its way, so is more pollution. A recent article in the Oregonian highlights Zenith’s dangerous plans to expand its operations in Portland.

What does that mean for us? More harmful pollution, more explosive trains through our communities, and continued handling of dangerous fuels. Zenith’s big plan is actually likely to bring more harm to the climate and marginalized communities. 

Does Zenith’s proposal reduce harm to our communities and the environment?

No. There is a decrease in allowable emissions, but the actual emissions Zenith produces will increase in several categories (this is because Zenith has been operating under an out-of-date permit for a shuttered asphalt plant). The proposed permit allows Zenith to continue increasing the harm caused by its facility.  

NW portland industrial area, photo of city scape and Broadway bridge which is red, Columbia River beneath

The Issue

After promising to ditch crude oil, documents show that Zenith intends to expand its Portland, OR, terminal while continuing to handle fossil fuels. The amount of liquid fuels passing through the terminal (throughput) is projected to increase more than 2.5 times above 2022 levels and more than 5.5 times above 2019 numbers—the year Zenith assured DEQ it would not increase throughput. 

Zenith is misleading the public and regulators, again.

Zenith claims it will transition to “exclusively handling renewable fuels and non-fuel products" and repeatedly references “renewable” diesel in connection with the Portland terminal.   

The reality, revealed in a recent air pollution permit application, is that Zenith intends to:

  • Expand operations;
  • Increase crude oil shipping between now and 2027;
  • Continue shipping fossil fuels after 2027;
  • Begin shipping significant quantities of dangerous “renewable” naphtha;
  • Increase harmful air pollution in Portland, and;
  • Increase rail, truck, and marine traffic.

Why This Matters

Zenith’s expansion will bring more harm to local residents—in the form of increasing local air pollution, train traffic, and risks to public health and safety. 

Image of poster and in the background is a green bridge and sky, Poster reads "Oil trains are over!" with a dinosaur ripping up an oil train. Taken at the Zenith Climate Rally in summer of 2023.

How To Engage

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will release a draft air permit and open a public comment period. Zenith needs the air permit to operate, and we need your voice to stop Zenith! The City of Portland failed to protect us from this threat. This is our chance to make sure that DEQ does not make the same mistake. Stay tuned for more details about the upcoming comment period. 

For now, please read the science behind Zenith's plan to expand and sign our petition linked below. 

The Bottom Line

Zenith’s proposal will increase threats to our environment and our communities. Zenith’s biggest trick yet, if they can pull it off: an expansion of operations, an increase in actual emissions, and naphtha bomb trains—all under the guise of climate progress. 

Facts about Zenith Energy’s Plans to Expand

Here are the stats and science Zenith Energy doesn't want you to understand

Sign the Petition

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