Urge local, state, and federal officials to reject additional permits for the NEXT refinery project.
Subject: NEXT Refinery Poses Too Many Risks
To Whom It May Concern:
I am deeply concerned about the proposed diesel refinery at Port Westward and its associated 400-car rail yard, pipelines, and dock usage. The proposed refinery and rail yard would negatively impact the community at Port Westward and, potentially, the entire Lower Columbia River. The Columbia River Estuary remains critical for recovering and restoring salmon runs in the Columbia River.
The Port Westward area is poorly suited for the construction and operation of a massive refinery with the capacity to produce hundreds of millions of gallons of so-called renewable diesel and jet fuel each year. The project would store over one million barrels of fuel and feedstock in an area with tenuous dike infrastructure, sensitive wetlands and water resources, and unstable peat soils that make the area vulnerable to soil liquefaction, with a high consequence for spills.
In assessing whether to issue or renew permits for the proposed project, I urge local, state, and federal decisionmakers to consider carefully the impacts of the project as a whole. These impacts include: potential harm to nearby homes, farms, and a Buddhist monastery; increased spill risks from storing more than one million barrels of fuel and feedstock while producing and handling hundreds of millions of gallons of diesel each year; alteration to wetlands and drainage systems that could harm water resources in the area; negative impacts from feedstock production and use, including induced effects on food crops; and significant climate-changing pollution from the proposed refinery.
Additionally, NEXT’s proposed diesel refinery does not live up to its “renewable” branding. It will consume large amounts of fracked gas while relying on undefined and potentially unsustainable feedstocks transported by rail and marine vessels.
After carefully considering these issues, local, state, and federal decisionmakers should reject the NEXT refinery because it would harm the Port Westward community, increase spill and safety risks in the Lower Columbia River, and deepen Oregon’s reliance on fracked gas.
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.