A public comment period has begun for yet another regulatory review the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas project must get through successfully in order to go forward.
Oregon's Department of Land Conservation & Development is accepting comments through midnight Sept. 21 as it conducts a review of the project proposal for consistency with the state's Coastal Management Program.
Jordan Cove is a proposed LNG facility in Coos Bay, Ore., that is touted as a means for exporting natural gas, including gas produced in the Rockies, to markets in Asia. It's owned by Canada-based Pembina Pipeline Corp. and supported in western Colorado by elected officials, energy companies and economic development boosters hoping the project could help provide a stable, long-term market for gas produced in the Piceance Basin.
The proposal includes a 229-mile pipeline in Oregon that would connect it to interstate pipelines. About 53 miles of the pipeline route would lie in the state's coastal zone.
The national Coastal Zone Management Program is a voluntary partnership between the federal government and coastal and Great Lakes states and territories, according to the Oregon Department of Land Conservation & Development website. It was authorized by the federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 and "provides the basis for protecting, restoring, and responsibly developing our nation's diverse coastal communities and resources," according to the website.
According to Jordan Cove's application for the consistency review, the 1972 law "requires that federal agency activities affecting any use or resource of a state's coastal zone must be consistent with the enforceable policies of the State's federally approved coastal management program."
The application said these policies include Oregon's statewide planning goals, applicable city and county comprehensive plans and land use regulations, and policies of various state agencies.
The federal agency activities that trigger the review requirement are the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorizations Jordan Cove is pursuing in hope of building its project.
The Department of Land Conservation & Development says in a Jordan Cove backgrounder document that comments on the consistency review "should address whether the project has coastal effects on the natural, cultural, recreational, economic, or aesthetic resources of Oregon's coast. Effects can be direct or indirect. Comments should also address whether the project aligns, or is consistent with, the applicable enforceable policies of the coastal management program."
The consistency review helps illustrate just how intensive a permitting process the Jordan Cove project is going through. The Department of Land Conservation & Development in May sent the project a list of dozens of permits the project hadn't yet received and the department will need to complete its consistency review.
As part of comments the state sent FERC in July, the Department of Land Conservation & Development cited concerns about the dangers earthquakes and tsunamis would pose to Jordan Cove and public safety and the environment, the project's consequences for wildlife, impacts from dredging, and other issues that the department says FERC's draft impact statement doesn't sufficiently address for purposes of the department's consistency review.
Comments on the review may be mailed to Coastal Management Program-DLCD, 635 Capitol St. NE, Suite 150, Salem, OR 97301-2540, or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. More information may be found at www.oregon.gov/LCD/OCMP/Pages/Federal-Consistency.aspx.