Columbia County Commission to Consider Converting 837 Acres of Farmland for Fossil Fuels and Heavy Industry
This month, the Columbia County Commission is considering a long-running proposal to convert a swath of high-value farmland at Port Westward for fossil fuel and heavy industrial development. The Port of Columbia County wants to swap world-class mint crops, blueberries, and salmon-supporting wetlands for a potential methanol refinery, oil train terminal, or similar heavy industrial project. Through the years, Port Westward has seen proposals for liquefied natural gas, coal export, methanol, and crude-by-rail.
The Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) has twice ruled that the port has failed to demonstrate how these types of projects would be compatible with neighboring farms and productive salmon habitat. In July, the port offered a new report that attempted to show how heavy industry would be a good neighbor to blueberry farms, mint fields, and salmon habitat. Once again, the port has failed to make a reasonable case.
Tell the Columbia County Commission to deny the port’s rezone request. Add your own comments to the suggested comment below: