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Tell Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Deny Clean Water Act Permits for Jordan Cove

The 229-mile Pacific Connector fracked gas pipeline and the Jordan Cove LNG export terminal, collectively called “Jordan Cove” would impact 485 rivers, streams, and waterbodies in Oregon on both public and private lands.

On May 22nd, 2018, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened a 60-day public comment period for two important Clean Water Act permits. Similar gas pipelines in Oregon, New York and Maryland have been stopped through the Clean Water Act process because of impacts to rivers, streams and wetlands.

Clean Water Act Comment Writing Guide What is this public comment opportunity?

In a joint public process, both the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) are seeking public comments as they review two Clean Water Act permit applications from Jordan Cove.

What are the two Clean Water Act permits that I’m commenting on?

What can you do?

You can help by writing comments to let our agencies know why you are concerned about the Jordan Cove project and Pacific Connector pipeline and how you would be impacted by the pollution and degradation of our rivers and streams. The following is a guide to help you draft and submit comments that will help stop Jordan Cove!

Permit

Section 404: Clean Water Act Removal-Fill Permit

Section 401: Clean Water Act State Water Quality Certification

Agency

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (federal agency)

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (state agency)

What is the agency reviewing?

The Army Corps reviews whether there is an alternative to the proposed project that is less damaging to the river, stream, or waterway. The Army Corps also looks at whether the nation’s waters will be significantly degraded.

The Dept. of Environmental Quality reviews whether the proposed project will violate state water quality standards. These are limits on pollution, such as murkiness (turbidity) or heating a stream so it can’t support fish (temperature).

Deadline

60 days to comment starting May 22, 2018; due by 5pm PST on July 21, 2018.

What can I include in my comments?

Your comments don't need to be technical or complicated! Just focus on the impacts that the pipeline and terminal would have on streams and rivers and how that would affect you. Additionally, you can touch on impacts that dredging and construction would have on water quality, drinking water, wildlife, recreation, fishing, navigation of public waters and more. Read about specific water quality issues here.

The goals of our comments are:

  1. 1)  Tell agencies to deny permitsbecause Jordan Cove does not comply with the Clean Water Act;

  2. 2)  Ask the agencies to extend the comment periodfrom 60 to 120 days. 60 days is not enough time for community members to read through all the documents and form their response; and

  3. 3)  Ask the agencies to host public hearingsin all impacted counties along the pipeline route. Many people living in southern Oregon don’t have regular access to internet. Public hearings are necessary to ensure to voices of rural Oregonians are heard.

Get specific!Include your concerns and specific ways you may personally be impacted.

Examples:

  • ●  You and your family go fishing every year on the Rogue river and you are concerned about how sediment or a potential “frac-out” from construction will impact the aesthetic value of the river and your ability to catch fish.

  • ●  You like to go clamming in Coos Bay but are afraid giant tankers will create too much traffic for the public to navigate the channel and that dredging will harm wildlife where community members traditionally fish.

  • ●  You live or work in Medford and are concerned that the pipeline will cross tributaries to the local water supply.

  • ●  You live in Klamath County and are concerned that Jordan Cove’s proposal to use 15 million gallons of freshwater from the Klamath River Basin will critically impact water supply in an already drought stricken region.

  • ●  You own or work for a rafting company that holds trips on the Klamath, Rogue, Coos, and/or Umpqua Rivers and are concerned that the river would become inaccessible during construction and that impacts will permanently alter the aesthetic value of the river, which would negatively impact your business/place of employment.

EXAMPLE EMAIL COMMENT TEMPLATE

The following is a sample email template that you can personalize with your specific concerns.

Email to:

NWP-2017-41@usace.army.mil JCEP401PublicComment@deq.state.or.us noLNGexports@gmail.com Kristen.sheeran@oregon.gov Jason.Miner@oregon.gov

Or mail:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers North Bend Field Office
2201 North Broadway Suite C North Bend, OR 97459-2372

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
165 E. 7
thAve, Suite 100
Eugene, OR 97401
Attn: 401 Water Quality Certification Project Manager, Chris Stine

Email subject line:

NWP-2017-41 Clean Water Act 404 and 401 Public Comment

Comment body text:

Dear Mr. Krug and Mr. Stine:

I strongly oppose the Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Pacific Connector Pipeline proposed project (NWP-2017-41) because it will significantly harm Oregon’s rivers and streams. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality should deny the Clean Water Act 404 and 401 permits because the project does not comply with the Clean Water Act.

Specifically, I am concerned that __________

Include your specific concerns in this section. How will the project impact rivers and streams that you care about?

Example:I live in Klamath County and am concerned that Jordan Cove’s proposal to use 15 million gallons of freshwater from the Klamath River Basin will critically impact water supply in an already drought stricken region.

Example: I live in Medford and am concerned that the pipeline will cross streams that flow into my drinking water supply.

The project does not comply with the Clean Water Act because it will significantly degrade our rivers and streams, will violate state water quality standards, will impair designated uses, and is not in the public interest. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must fully evaluate alternatives to the proposed project that will be less environmentally damaging.

Include your specific concerns about how the project will harm rivers and streams (see the comment guide for more information!).

Example:Constructing the pipeline will cut down trees near streams, which can heat the stream and harm fish and fish habitat. I love fishing on the Rogue River and am concerned that the pipeline will harm fish.

Include your specific concerns about how the project will increase pollution (harming fish habitat, heating up streams, increasing murkiness, etc.).

Example:I am concerned that trenching, blasting, and damming streams will pollute the water by increasing muddiness and will harm fish.

Include your specific concerns about how the project will harm fishing, boating, swimming, and other designated uses of our rivers and streams.

Example: Blasting for pipeline construction and cutting down trees near streams will pollute waterways that support fishing, swimming, and boating.

Include your specific concerns about how the project is not in the public interest and will harm our rivers and our communities.

Example:​ ​This project is one of the largest and most environmentally harmful private projects in Oregon. It threatens fish, clean water, recreation, and wildlife.

I strongly oppose this project and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality should deny the Clean Water Act 404 and 401 permits. Due to the complexity of the project, the agencies should extend the public comment period from 60 days to 120 days to allow the public to read through the extensive application. Additionally, the agencies should host public hearings in all impacted communities along the pipeline route. Many people living in southern Oregon don’t have regular access to internet. Public hearings are necessary to ensure to voices of rural Oregonians are heard.

Sincerely,
[
Insert your name & address]

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