200 OREGONIANS GATHER AT MEDFORD DEQ TO URGE STATE TO DENY PERMITS FOR JORDAN COVE LNG EXPORT TERMINAL & PACIFIC CONNECTOR PIPELINE.
(MEDFORD, OR) - Days before a critical public comment period closes, impacted landowners, tribal members, youth, anglers, rafters, business owners, health professionals, and local elected officials gathered in Medford today to urge the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to deny Clean Water Act permits for the proposed Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and Pacific Connector fracked gas pipeline.
An unprecedented number of comments -- more than 25,000 -- have been submitted to the agency opposing the project, breaking known public comment participation records for a permit of this type.
DEQ is responsible for determining whether the proposed pipeline and terminal would violate state water quality standards. The Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and Pacific Connector fracked gas pipeline cannot move forward without this key state permit.
The state of Oregon has denied permits for similar projects in the past. In 2010, DEQ denied this permit for the Bradwood LNG export terminal and pipeline proposed on the Columbia river, a project that would have required far less dredging and impacted half as many waterways and wetlands as the Jordan Cove proposal.
The Pacific Connector pipeline, proposed by a Canadian corporation called Pembina, would impact 485 waterways, including the Rogue, Klamath, Umpqua, Coquille, and Coos Rivers. At each place where the pipeline crosses streams and rivers, the construction will degrade water quality and fish habitat. Additionally, the pipeline would require drilling through 12 public drinking water sources and an unknown number of private wells, putting over 116,000 southern Oregonians’ drinking water at risk from the impacts of pipeline construction and chemical contamination.
Construction of the terminal would require the largest dredging project in Oregon’s recent history, resulting in destroyed fishing and shellfishing areas in Coos Bay. New tanker traffic from the terminal would also interfere with the ability of the public to access these areas for fishing and recreation.
“As a fishing guide, I depend on healthy waterways for my livelihood,” said Stuart Warren, owner and guide at Stuart Warren Fly Fishing. “The proposed pipeline and terminal threatens the local tourism and outdoor recreation industry in southern Oregon. Governor Kate Brown and our state agencies should deny this permit to protect existing jobs and small businesses like mine.”
“This project will degrade Oregonian’s water quality, harm the health of communities throughout the region, contribute to climate change, and irrevocably alter our landscape,” said Patricia Bellamy, a Registered Nurse and a delegate from the Oregon Nurses Association, the state's largest nursing organization, representing nearly 15,000 nurses throughout Oregon. “It is not in the best interest of the State of Oregon. ONA opposes the project and asks for denial of applicable permits for Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector Pipeline.”
"Pembina’s fracked gas project puts multinational corporations before people, with our communities and southern Oregon’s clean water shouldering the burden,” said Stacey Detwiler of Rogue Riverkeeper. “Today, we ask our state agencies to hold this project to Oregon's highest environmental review standards and to stand up for the Rogue, rivers across southwest Oregon, safe drinking water, and healthy communities."
“This pipeline and all that it represents is not for the people, it is not for the animals, and it does not provide a healthy environment for our future generations,” said Taylor Tupper, a lifelong Oregonian and Klamath Tribal Member. “I’m proud to be here with everyone that is fighting to protect the people and those who cannot speak for themselves. We are here upholding the true path for clean water and a healthy future. We are asking for nothing that isn’t already promised to the people of this land.”
Speakers at the rally include Chairman Don Gentry & Councilor Perry Chocktoot from the Klamath Tribes; impacted landowners Bob Barker & Bill Gow; Shady Cove City Councilor Linda Kristich; Stuart Warren, owner and guide at “Stuart Warren Fly Fishing”; Brook Thompson indigenous youth leader from the Ancestral Guard; Patricia Bellamy from the Oregon Nurses Association; Jacob Lebel, Douglas County resident and one of 21 youth plaintiffs in the landmark Juliana v. United States climate lawsuit supported by Our Children’s Trust; and Taylor Tupper, Klamath tribal member.