Clatskanie Oil Terminal Trial

For Immediate Release, October 5, 2015

Contact:

Tanya Sanerib, Center for Biological Diversity, (971) 717-6407, tsanerib@biologicaldiversity.org

John Krallman, Neighbors for Clean Air, (540) 903-0534, john@whatsinourair.org

Mark Riskedahl, Northwest Environmental Defense Center, (503) 750-5533,

msr@nedc.org

 

Oregon Case First to Determine Whether Global Partners Requires More-Protective Clean Air Act Permits for Its Oil Terminals

Lawsuit Filed by Conservation, Public-health Groups Argues Clatskanie Facility Needs Stricter Emissions Controls

 

PORTLAND, Ore.— In the first case to determine whether Global Partners LP’s handling of highly volatile crude oil requires a more-protective Clean Air Act permit, a federal judge in Portland will preside over a trial starting Tuesday in a lawsuit brought by three citizen groups over emissions from a Clatskanie terminal. Without obtaining a more-protective “major source” air permit or giving any public notice, Global transformed a mothballed ethanol plant into a crude-oil mega-terminal capable of offloading more than 9 billion gallons of oil each year, all of it transported through the Columbia River Gorge and several communities, including the Portland metro region.

“Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge is precious, and so too are the lives and homes of those Oregonians in a disaster zone should Global’s crude trains derail,” said Mark Riskedahl, director of NEDC. “Oregonians deserve better, including the public disclosures and more protective permit called for in the lawsuit.”

Global has repeated its Oregon scheme on the East Coast, transporting 2.2 billion gallons of crude a year through New York without seeking updated Clean Air Act permits for a terminal in Albany.

“Global is gaming the system,” said Tanya Sanerib, senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “But thanks to the Clean Air Act, we don’t have to stand idly by while they play their dirty fuel games.”

In March the state of Oregon fined Global $117,292 for shipping six times more crude oil than the company’s permit allowed, a decision that is being appealed by the Massachusetts-based company. Even though Global began operating its Clatskanie terminal without seeking proper permits from the state, Oregon environmental regulators later approved a much less restrictive air permit for the terminal than the permit required by law.

“Our case will show that Global’s pollution estimates are way under what they should be and are unsupported,” said attorney John Krallman with Neighbors for Clean Air. “They are a sophisticated Fortune 500 company and they knew better than to try and get away with this.”

The federal Clean Air Act trial is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Tuesday before Judge Michael Simon at the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse in downtown Portland.