Oregon agency takes comment on coal export terminal permit

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality plans an Aug. 12 hearing on a draft Section 401 Clean Water Act permit on the Coyote Island export coal terminal project of Australia-based Ambre Energy.

If the DEQ issues the permit for this controversial project, the permit would become part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers review of a Section 404 permit application for this project. Comment on the 401 draft permit will be taken until Aug. 25.

The Coyote Island Terminal is proposed by Ambre Energy at the Port of Morrow in Boardman, Ore. Ambre Energy would bring up to 8.8 million tons of coal a year by train from Montana and/or Wyoming to Boardman. It would store the coal in covered storage buildings at the Port of Morrow, located on the Columbia River, before transferring it to barges using an enclosed conveyor system.

The DEQ has already issued air quality, storm water and water quality permits for the proposed facility.

This is one of a handful of coal export projects along the U.S. West Coast that have excited environmental group opposition in recent years on issues ranging from the coal dust that will blow off rail cars in transit to the facility, to the greenhouse gas emissions when this coal is burned at power plants around the Pacific Rim.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.