AP NEWS

Jordan Cove resubmits permit application to build on seven miles of Douglas County forestland

May 3, 2019

The Jordan Cove Energy Project has resubmitted a permit application to build a proposed natural gas pipeline on a 7-mile stretch of Douglas County forestland near Camas Valley.

The highly contested project would transport natural gas from existing pipelines in Malin 229 miles across Southern Oregon to a proposed export terminal in Coos Bay, where the gas would be shipped to international markets.

Tamara Howell, a spokeswoman for the county, said Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, LP submitted a permit application on April 8. The application is one of many outstanding permitting processes at the local, state and federal levels that would need to be approved for the project to begin construction.

In January, Douglas County Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Johnson nullified the original conditional land use permit issued by the county to Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, LP for the 7-mile stretch.

The decision came after four landowners, whose properties are in the path of the pipeline, sued the county for issuing its seventh one-year extension for the permit on Dec. 8, 2017.

In her ruling, Johnson said the permit became void when the county failed to grant its sixth permit extension by the deadline on Dec. 10, 2016. The permit was originally granted on Dec. 10, 2009, and the county began granting one-year extensions for the permit in 2011 after construction didn’t begin within two years as required.

The Oregon Department of State Lands cited the permit nullification in its summary of substantive public comments submitted to the agency for the project’s state removal-fill permit application.

“Because the pipeline will require a new application for conditional use permit and utility facility necessary for public service, the applicant has not met its burden to demonstrate to the department that the project conforms to Douglas County’s acknowledged comprehensive plan and land use regulations,” read the summary of comments released April 10.

The project must acquire a removal-fill permit to build the pipeline across more than 300 waterways, which the department regulates.

In March, the department extended its decision deadline for the application to Sept. 20 after it received between 49,000-57,000 public comments. The department may issue a decision before the deadline, but Jordan Cove must address substantive comments.

Howell said the Douglas County Planning Department plans to finish the completeness review process for the land use permit application by Friday. A public hearing on the application can be scheduled no less than 30 days after the application is deemed complete. If it is incomplete, Pacific Connector has 180 days to address missing components.