Urge state and federal officials to deny the NEXT proposal.
Join us in urging DEQ to reject the proposed air pollution permit, sign the petition today!
Dear Oregon DEQ:
I urge you to reject the proposed air permit for the NEXT refinery proposal at Port Westward, Oregon. The proposed air pollution permit will allow harmful pollution to impact nearby residences, farms, and a Buddhist monastery. Further, the draft permit offers inadequate information to ensure that the refinery would meet state and federal air quality standards.
- NEXT’s proposed refinery and its pollution would have a major impact on the Port Westward community, adding to other sources of air and pollution already allowed by DEQ.
- DEQ proposes inadequate constraints on the refinery’s air pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hydrogen sulfide. DEQ’s proposed limits for toxic and hazardous pollution fail to protect nearby residents, family farms, and businesses. DEQ should establish enforceable limits on volatile organic compounds and include more robust, verifiable monitoring requirements. Combined with other polluters in the area, NEXT’s proposal will have a major impact on the community.
- DEQ fails to regulate emissions that will occur at the 400-car rail yard and marine vessel loading and unloading activities. NEXT should be responsible for the air pollution from ships and trains serving the diesel refinery at Port Westward.
- DEQ does not adequately address the potential for the proposed refinery to emit noxious odors. The refinery proposes to convert animal fats, waste oil, or purpose-grown feedstocks into renewable diesel, a process with clear potential to impact people living nearby.
- DEQ cannot afford to take NEXT at its word when it comes to pollution. Key officials in NEXT were involved in a failed biofuels project in Odessa, WA called Transmessis Columbia Plateau. NEXT officials were involved with the company when Transmessis went belly-up after a crash in biofuels prices, leaving behind a toxic mess that required cleanup under the Superfund law.
- Short of rejecting the permit, DEQ should withdraw the proposed draft air permit for NEXT and provide additional information that demonstrates why the project will be a minor source of emissions when the potential clearly exists for the NEXT refinery to be a major source of air pollution.
Because of these impacts and unresolved issues, DEQ should reject the air permit proposed for NEXT. Oregonians rely on DEQ to protect their air and water, and they cannot trust NEXT, a company whose backers have a dubious track record. Homes, farms, businesses, wildlife habitat, and a nearby monastery are all vulnerable to potential pollution from the NEXT refinery and rail yard, and DEQ’s current approach falls far short of offering the protection that the community deserves.
Quick Guide for Commenting on DEQ’s Proposed Draft Air Permit for NEXT Renewables LLC’s Proposed Renewable Diesel Refinery at Port Westward.
What’s NEXT at Port Westward?
Houston-based NEXT Renewables LLC has proposed building a refinery at Port Westward that would use fracked gas, seed oil, animal fats and tallows, or other products to make diesel fuel.
Oregon DEQ is proposing to grant NEXT an air pollution permit to emit significant pollution from the refinery and its 400-car rail yard, including 1 million tons of greenhouse gas pollution (much of it from burning fracked gas) into the nearby community including residences, world-class mint and blueberry crops, high-value salmon habitat, and a Buddhist monastery.
DEQ’s proposed air pollution permit fails to protect residents, the local airshed, and high-value crops produced at Port Westward. DEQ is relying on NEXT’s claims that the refinery’s pollution won’t reach certain legal thresholds. However, NEXT is untrustworthy; company officials left a toxic mess behind in Odessa, WA, when a previous biofuels project went belly-up.
The NEXT Refinery is the wrong place, wrong plan, and wrong company. Join us in telling DEQ to deny NEXT’s request for permission to pollute Oregon’s air.
This FAQ addresses basic questions about Houston-based NEXT Renewable Fuels LLC which proposes to build a renewable diesel refinery at Port Westward, a critical bend in the Columbia River estuary near Clatskanie.
Community Pushes Back on NEXT Refinery at Port Westward: Wrong Place, Wrong Plan, Wrong Company